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Trump's Appearance With South Korea Prez Gets 'Unusual'

Trump calls for renegotiation of 2012 free trade agreement
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 30, 2017 4:27 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump and South Korea's new leader showed joint resolve on North Korea on Friday despite their divergent philosophies for addressing the nuclear threat, yet the US opened up a new front of discord by demanding a renegotiation of a landmark 2012 trade pact between the two countries. Concluding two days of meetings at the White House, Trump and President Moon Jae-in each delivered tough talk opposing North Korea's development of atomic weapons, the AP reports. The "reckless and brutal regime" requires a determined reply, Trump said. And Moon, who has long advocated outreach to Pyongyang, vowed a "stern response" to provocation, promising to coordinate closely with Trump as he looks to intensify economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea.

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While they avoided a potential conflict on the most burning national security crisis facing each country, they showed little harmony on trade. Trump highlighted America's trade imbalance with South Korea. Two-way trade in goods and services was $144 billion last year, with the US running a $17 billion deficit. "The fact is that the United States has trade deficits with many, many countries, and we cannot allow that to continue," Trump said. "And we'll start with South Korea right now." He said the two sides would renegotiate a 2012 free trade agreement, calling it a "rough deal" for America. Click for more, including Trump calling on his top economic officials to address their grievances to Moon in front of journalists in what the AP calls "an unusual display of one-upmanship in a meeting between close allies." (Read more President Trump stories.)

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