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(2nd LD) Trump: U.S., S. Korea 'renegotiating trade deal right now'

All News 00:15 July 01, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with additional remarks from Trump, more information in paras 6-8)

WASHINGTON, June 30 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday the U.S. and South Korea are renegotiating the free trade deal with South Korea and are discussing many options with regard to North Korea.

"We had a great afternoon yesterday. We had a fantastic dinner at the White House, accomplished a lot having to do with our thoughts on North Korea and very much our thoughts on trade," Trump said at the start of his summit talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

"We are renegotiating a trade deal right now as we speak with the South Koreans and hopefully it will be an equitable deal, it will be a fair deal to both parties. It's been a rough deal for the United States, but I think that it will be much different and will be good for both parties," he said.

The U.S. president stressed the importance of bilateral trade with South Korea, but insisted their 2012 free trade agreement may have tilted in favor of South Korea.

"What many people don't know is that South Korea is a major trading partner with the United States, and we want something that is going to be good for the American worker, and I think that we will be able to do that today, and I think we'll be able to do many other things," he said.

Apparently trying to appease the U.S. before the summit, a group of 52 South Korean companies announced a plan to jointly invest US$12.8 billion in the United States over the next five years.

Seoul also said it will soon begin importing shale gas from the United States.

Trump said the gas deal will help bring his country's trade deficit down, adding South Korea was giving big defense and equipment deals to the United States.

Trump said the two sides are also "in the process of discussing our, frankly, many options, we have many options with respect to North Korea."


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