- Associated Press - Friday, June 30, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on President Donald Trump’s meetings with the South Korean president (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump will hold his first joint meeting with the leaders of Japan and South Korea on the margins of the Group of 20 summit in Germany next week.

That’s according to a statement issued by the leaders of the U.S. and South Korea after they met Friday.

Japan and South have long-standing historical differences although they face a common threat from North Korea. President Barack Obama held several meetings with the leaders of America’s two closest Asian allies to nudge them together and improve cooperation.

The statement after Trump’s meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in (jah-yihn) says they agreed that defense cooperation among the three nations helps deter North Korea.

The G20 of industrial nations will be meeting in Hamburg, staring July 7.


7:25 p.m.

South Korea’s president is strongly urging China to stop its economic retaliation over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system intended to protect against North Korea.

President Moon Jae-in (jah-yihn) says the measures have caused $8 billion in damage to his nation’s economy.

China claims the THAAD system’s radar ranges into its territory. But Moon says, “It’s not right for China to try to unfairly influence Korea’s sovereign decision” to deploy the system.

Moon, who took power in May, says the previous South Korean government did not sufficiently discuss the issue with China before deployment.

Moon has delayed the full rollout of THAAD pending an environmental review.

He was speaking Friday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


7 p.m.

South Korea’s president is suggesting that the release of three Americans held by North Korea could kick-start long-stalled negotiations with Pyongyang.

President Moon Jae-in (jah-yihn) says another impetus for talks would be for North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile tests. He says the ultimate goal has to be denuclearization.

But he is ruling out stopping U.S.-South Korean military drills in exchange for a nuclear and missile freeze by the North, saying the allies’ drills are legal and defensive while the North’s nuclear activities are illicit.

Moon was speaking Friday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank after meeting President Donald Trump.

North Korea shows little interest in resuming talks on its nuclear program.


3 p.m.

The White House is confirming that President Donald Trump has asked his trade representative to begin the process of renegotiating the U.S. trade deal with South Korea.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was calling a special meeting to “start the process of renegotiating and amending the deal.” She says Trump wants to make sure he “gets the best deal and a better deal if possible when it comes to trade.”

Trump has been critical of the Korean trade agreement during his two days of meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in (jah-yihn).

Trump notes that the U.S. trade deficit with the Asian country has grown substantially since the start of the agreement.


12:30 p.m.

The Oval Office was a rough-and-tumble place when President Donald Trump sat alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in (jah-yihn) for their White House meeting.

A large contingent of U.S. and South Korean media members were jostling to get video and photos of the two leaders. U.S. Secret Service members asked Korean media to stop running as they entered the room.

During the exchange, a lamp on a table was nearly knocked over. But White House aide Keith Schiller caught it before it fell.

Trump said, “You guys are getting worse,” and said a table had been knocked over. He later joked that “it’s actually a very friendly press.”


12:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation to visit South Korea this year.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (jah-yihn) says he invited Trump and his wife, Melania, to visit.

Moon says Trump “graciously accepted” the offer. He spoke Friday in the White House Rose Garden.

Moon adds that the visit will “demonstrate not only our friendship but also the intimate bond our peoples have come to foster through thick and thin.”

The U.S. has been a longtime military ally of South Korea, which faces a nuclear weapons threat from North Korea. But Trump is also concerned about the trade deficit with South Korea, which has grown since a free trade pact began between the two countries in 2012.


11:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump says “the era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed.” He’s delivered a joint statement in the Rose Garden with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Trump adds: “Frankly, that patience is over.”

Trump railed against the North Korean government as a “reckless and brutal regime” as he addresses the media with Moon.

He points to the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, who died shortly after being released from North Korean custody.

Trump says his goal is “peace, stability and prosperity” for the region, but warns the United States will “always” defend itself and its allies.

Trump also praises the alliance between the U.S. and South Korea as “a cornerstone of peace and security in a very, very dangerous part of the world.”


11:05 a.m.

President Donald Trump says that he will start to reduce the U.S. trade deficit by renegotiating a trade deal with South Korea.

The United States recorded a $27.6 billion trade deficit with South Korea last year. The deficit began to increase from $13.2 billion in 2011 after a free trade agreement between the two countries took effect in 2012.

Trump said: “We cannot allow that to continue.” The president is meeting Friday at the White House with South Korean President Moon Jae-in (MOON JAAH IHN).

Trump made the remarks while in the cabinet room with advisers. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says that U.S. autos, steel and other companies still face trade barriers in South Korea.


10:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the United States is negotiating a new trade deal with South Korea.

While welcoming South Korean President Moon Jae-in (MOON JAAH IHN) to the White House on Friday, Trump said: “We want something that will be very good for the American worker.”

The president says they discussed North Korea and trade over dinner Thursday night.

Trump said: “We are renegotiating a trade deal right now as we speak with South Korea and hopefully it will be an equitable deal, it will be a fair deal for both parties.” He has called the existing trade deal bad for U.S. workers.

Moon says his presidential election in South Korea was to reconfirm a strong trade alliance with the U.S.


10:20 a.m.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (jah-yihn) is back at the White House for his second day of meetings with President Donald Trump.

Moon arrived at the White House for an Oval Office meeting with Trump. Trump and Moon are scheduled to make joint statements later in the morning from the Rose Garden.

The two leaders dined together on Thursday night and Trump said they discussed security issues involving North Korea and trade.

Moon is aiming to show he’s serious about dealing with the North Korean threat despite calling for engagement with the North to address its nuclear weapons development.


9:50 a.m.

South Korea’s president has laid a wreath at the Korean War Memorial in Washington ahead of more talks with President Donald Trump.

President Moon Jae-in (jah-yihn) was accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, whose father served in the U.S. Army during the 1950-53 Korean War.

It was the second occasion during Moon’s four-day visit that he has paid tribute to American veterans of that conflict.

On Wednesday, he visited a memorial in Quantico, Virginia, honoring Marines who in 1950 enabled a mass evacuation of Korean civilians, including Moon’s parents.


9:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is welcoming South Korean President Moon Jae-in (jah-yihn) back to the White House on Friday after the two leaders had dinner Thursday night.

Trump wrote on Twitter that they had a “very good meeting” with Moon and they discussed North Korea and trade.

Trump and Moon will be meeting in the Oval Office and then making statements to reporters.

The U.S. and South Korea want to show that they are on the same page over dealing with the North Korea nuclear threat.

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