The United States has had troops in South Korea for over 69 years, since the beginning of the Korean War. For the first time since the war, the relationship between the U.S. and South Korea might be getting a little tense. President Trump has demanded that Korea pay 500 percent more from 2020 from the current rate to maintain the presence of U.S. troops in South Korea.

Lawmakers and military intelligence have raised an uproar over the news. The relation between the U.S. and South Korea has taken a hit owing to President Trump's infatuation with North Korea and the relationship that he is trying to build with them.

The current climate in South Korea is one of shock and, quite possibly, a bit of animosity toward the U.S. The South Korean government is unhappy with Trump's acquiescence to North Korea as far as missile testing goes. They believe that Trump allows the North to act in any manner they wish toward South Korea, and there are no consequences for it.

Both sides agreed that neither should have to bear the entire cost of military presence in Korea from the U.S. However, South Korea has balked at the prospect of having to pay a 500 percent increase. There are fears from the long-time ally that Trump is more supportive of their opposition in the North, a feeling that is quietly echoed on Capitol Hill.

CNN said in a report that the general mood in South Korea is that politics is at play here and is prevailing over the need to preserve an agreement that has endured for over a half century. A source also confirmed to International Business Times that the South Koreans are approaching Trump's demand in the context of the elections coming up in the country in April next year and the U.S. Presidential elections. Friendship, with anyone, comes at a price and this is not a concept that is foreign to Trump.

The geopolitical climate in this part of the globe is tumultuous at best because the North has ties with China and Russia, which have an interest in keeping the country as a buffer against U.S. influence. Without the military might of the U.S. enforcing the detente between the two Koreas, the entire region could easily see a runaway destabilization leading to an armed conflict once again. The South Koreans have made no specific response to Trump's demands as of yet, but with election politics expected to heat up this issue could assume more complexity.

The South is already locked in a trade dispute with Japan and that together with the issue of paying for U.S. military presence can potentially redraw the geopolitical alliances in the region.

US soldiers participating in a drill with South Korean troops near Pocheon in 2017
US soldiers participating in a drill with South Korean troops near Pocheon in 2017 AFP / JUNG Yeon-Je