North Korea, Trade To Top Agenda At Trump-Moon Meeting In Washington

He also said that he thought it was important that South Korean leaders learn to say no to the United States.

The mass evacuation occurred as USA -led allied forces retreated from North Korea. While the White House official said "South Korea in many respects is the model ally" in terms of defense spending, Trump himself said as recently as April that South Korea should pay for the billion dollar THAAD system.

Reducing regional tensions through outreach and investment, Moon said, will maintain economic stability and create the conditions to improve business ties with North Korea after the nuclear issue is resolved.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday dismissed suggestions by a government advisor last week that the South was considering downsizing joint military exercises with the U.S.in exchange for a nuclear test freeze by North Korea.

He also expressed hope they will continue discussing ways to further strengthen their bilateral cooperation in dealing with issues of mutual concern, such as military provocations from North Korea.

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"They just want to have a good photo op, not screw anything up and hopefully not talk about anything of substance, precisely because neither side is really ready to talk about it yet", he says. The Trump administration is considering whether to impose tariffs or quotas on steel imports.

"I will go firmly hand in hand with President Trump", Moon said in his commemoration speech.

"His view is that there are aspects of the trade relationship that aren't in balance", the official said.

"In goods trade, the U.S. is seeing deficits (from bilateral trade), but in the service sector we (South Korea) are in the red".

Speaking to media on his way to a high-profile summit between South Korea and the USA, the President said: "there is no change in that position yet".

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Shinsuke Sugiyama, Japan's vice minister for foreign affairs, made a more vigorous defense of the deal on Monday, telling U.S. Deputy State Secretary John Sullivan that the accord was "lauded by the worldwide community".

Tokyo is also watching to see how the US military's deployment of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system, or THAAD, affects relations between Seoul and Beijing, which has railed against the move. This was a recurring theme for President Trump on the campaign trail. "They will have cocktails and then a dinner together here at the State Dining Room", a senior administration official told reporters giving a preview of the trip.

Trump and Moon are set to meet for the first time Thursday and Friday at the White House.

President Moon Jae-in (center) visits a monument to the Battle of Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia on Wednesday.

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