Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

South Korean opposition adviser says renegotiated US FTA won't hurt trade

South Korean opposition adviser says renegotiated US FTA won't hurt trade

Park Chan-ki, an official at the Trade Ministry, said the U.S. hasn't made any official request to start talks about reforming the U.S. -Korea trade agreement.

During his trip to South Korea Monday, Vice President Mike Pence confirmed that the US will continue with its plans to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea, despite persisting objections from China.

Trump campaigned on an "America First" pledge, promising to overhaul trade agreements that he said hurt U.S.jobs.

Wang told reporters that although USA officials have made clear that a military strike remains on the table, he believes that Washington would still prefer to de-escalate tensions through multisided talks.

Pence said, "We seek peace always ... but as you know and the United States knows peace comes through strength".

Pence is in the Asia-Pacific region to visit top officials in Seoul, South Korea; Tokyo; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Sydney for discussions on economic engagement and evolving security challenges.

Japan and the USA have outlined a path forward for economic talks between the countries.

Vice President Mike Pence shakes hands with South Korean acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn.

Pence pointed out that the US trade deficit with South Korea has more than doubled since the current free trade agreement between the two countries came into effect in 2012.

Ahead of the economic dialogue meeting, Pence met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and they confirmed that the two countries will apply stronger pressure on North Korea, which has been pushing ahead with nuclear and missile development. They will meet again this year to ensure the project achieves "concrete economic results in the near term", Pence said.

It said the dialogue would focus on three areas: trade and investment rules and issues, cooperation in macroeconomic policy and specific industry sectors.

The U.S. military says an aircraft carrier participated in curtailed training with Australia before starting its journey north toward the Korean Peninsula.

Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged Wednesday that some of the Trump administration's promises have not yet come to fruition, but he is confident that efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will be fruitful.

"My hope is that they'll continue to get the message not just from the United States, here in Japan, and in South Korea, but on an increasing basis from China and countries all over the world committing to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula", he said. Trump said that will be "the end determination".

To deter North Korea's nuclear tests, ballistic missile launches and other actions, it is imperative to display readiness to take even stern punitive actions. But Pence expressed impatience with the unwillingness of the regime to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. "The more tense things are, the more calm we need to be to find the opportunities and possibilities for dialogue".

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