South Korea and the United States on Friday signed a deal that would increase Seoul’s financial contribution for the deployment of US troops in the Asian country. After rounds of failed negotiations, chief delegates from the two countries last month agreed on Seoul paying about 1.04 trillion won (US$924 million) in 2019 for the US military presence, up from about $830 million last year. President Donald Trump earlier pressured Seoul to increase its share, triggering worries in South Korea that he might withdraw some of the 28,500 US troops here if Seoul refused to accept his demand. US, South Korea to scale down war games called ‘very expensive’ by Trump South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and US Ambassador Harry Harris signed the new cost-sharing deal on Friday. Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement the deal is expected to provide a “stable environment” for the US troop deployment and help strengthen the alliance between the two countries. The deal, which involves the spending of South Korean taxpayer money, requires parliamentary approval in South Korea, but not in the US. The deal is likely to easily pass through South Korea’s parliament as the main conservative opposition party highly values a stronger alliance with Washington. The deal’s signing came days after the two countries eliminated their huge springtime military drills and replaced them with a smaller training to back diplomatic efforts to strip North Korea of its nuclear weapons. Many experts in South Korea said the moves would likely weaken the allies’ military readiness in the event that the diplomacy fails and tensions with North Korea flares again.