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S. Korea to look into U.S. intentions over free trade deal

All News 11:44 July 02, 2017

SEOUL, July 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will closely look into the U.S. intentions over their bilateral free trade deal, an official said Sunday, amid a controversy over the possible renegotiation of the pact.

U.S. President Donald Trump said at the start of summit talks with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in on Friday that Seoul and Washington "are renegotiating a trade deal right now."

However, a joint statement issued after the summit said the two sides "further committed to foster a truly fair and level playing field" without mentioning the renegotiation of the trade deal.

On Saturday, Moon told South Korean correspondents in Washington that any talk of the renegotiation of the free trade deal is "outside of the agreement" he reached in summit talks with Trump.

South Korea will closely look into the matter and take measures, a trade ministry official here said, noting Trump's intention over the free trade deal is not clear.

During and after the talks with Moon, Trump vowed to seek a new trade pact with South Korea, blaming the current deal for enlarging American deficits.

Trump said the trade deal has been rough for the U.S., noting that the North American country's trade deficit with Asia's fourth-largest economy has increased by more than $11 billion between 2011, a year before the free trade deal went into effect, and last year.


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