President Donald Trump told his counterpart Moon Jae-in during talks at the White House that he wants fair shake for U.S. automakers in South Korea, so they could sell more cars over there. He said he will press for changes to the current free-trade agreement to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea. He told reporters he was encouraged by “Moon’s assurances that he will work to create a level playing field” for U.S. exporters.
Tensions with North Korea also figured prominently in the discussions as Trump signaled he would press for a tougher stance after the death of U.S. student Otto Warmbier following his detention in North Korea. The initial meeting would probably be seen as a success, said Duyeon Kim, a visiting senior fellow at the Korean Peninsula Future Forum in Seoul. Moon said threats from Pyongyang would be met with a “stern response” and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “should by no means underestimate the firm commitment” of the military alliance between the U.S. and South Korea.