A US Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill requiring the Pentagon to annually submit to Congress a report on contributions that South Korea and other allies make to "common defense" efforts, his office said Tuesday.
Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) submitted to the House the Allied Burden Sharing Report Act, which calls for the report on contributions by South Korea, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, Arab Gulf allies and all members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
If annually released, the report is expected to add pressure on US allies to increase their defense spending under the name of "burden sharing," observers said.
"With multiple conflicts raging around the world, it is now more important than ever that Congress be given annual reports on how our allies are contributing to common defense efforts," Mooney was quoted as saying in a press release.
He added that he shares former President Donald Trump's concern that the "allies are not doing enough."
"We must hold them accountable to their commitments as the United States cannot afford to bear the financial burden alone," Mooney said.
Reps. Ralph Norman (R-SC), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Randy Weber (R-TX) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) have joined as cosponsors.
In 2019, then President Trump demanded a hefty rise in South Korea's share of the cost for the upkeep of the 28,500-strong US Forces Korea. He called for a fivefold increase to $5 billion, leading to tensions between Seoul and Washington. (Yonhap)