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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Relocation talks between South Korea and the United States ended Wednesday afternoon without further progress on deciding where, when or how American troops would be shuffled around the peninsula.

Officials from both sides were expected to hold news conferences or issue statements at the talks’ conclusion but the Future of the Alliance Policy Initiative meetings ended without comment from either.

“There will be no joint statement and no press conference,” Lt. Col. Lee Bung-woo, a South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman, said Thursday.

U.S. Forces Korea officials also declined comment on this week’s meetings, the fifth in a series of sessions that began in April 2003. The talks center around an agreement to relocate U.S. troops from some of their current bases; South Korean officials have said the terms — which include an estimated $3 billion price tag — are unfair.

While neither side would comment Thursday on what the sticking points are, unnamed “senior” ministry officials said money and the specific wording of new written agreements were in dispute, according to South Korean press accounts.

“We have negotiated to draw a comprehensive agreement to replace a memorandum of understanding and a memorandum of agreement signed in 1991 on the relocation conditions,” an unnamed official told The Korea Times. “But there was a wide gap between the two nations.”

However, South Korean officials did say the talks avoided the volatile issue of a possible South Korean troop deployment to Iraq. Last month, U.S. officials appealed for Seoul to dispatch combat troops to help the security situation there.

“The talks have progressed independently. The troop dispatch issue wasn’t even included in the agenda,” Lee said.

Several South Korean news outlets repeatedly have connected the relocation negotiations with South Korea’s delayed decision on troop dispatch to Iraq.

No timetable has been set for further talks before the annual Security Consultative Meeting scheduled for mid-November, Lee said. Officials from both sides had hoped to have an agreement before the SCM, an annual meeting between top defense officials from both nations.

It originally was scheduled for late October but postponed until mid-November amid reports of U.S. pressure for South Korea to make a troop-dispatch decision by the time the talks kicked off in Seoul.

American officials say the delay was a result of scheduling conflicts for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

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