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A preliminary deal would see South Korea pay the U.S. almost $1 billion toward the cost of stationing U.S. military personnel in the country, up from about $800 million under a previous five-year agreement, CNN reports, citing two State Department officials.

Why it matters: This agreement has eased concerns among advisers who feared Trump would agree to withdraw U.S. troops during his summit later this month with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whose regime has long objected to the U.S. military presence on the peninsula, per CNN. Trump often bemoans the costs of America's overseas presence and had been demanding South Korea double its contribution, to $1.6 billion.

What to watch: CNN reports that "this would not be a long term fix: it is only a one year agreement, with the possibility for a one year extension" and could be rejected by Trump. There are about 30,000 U.S. troops in South Korea.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
4 hours ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

4 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.