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Will the U.S. Free Itself From a South Korean Trade Deal?

Sep 2, 2017 | 15:44 GMT
South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong speaks at the 2007 signing of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement in Washington, D.C. Thus far, free-trade voices have held sway in the Trump administration. That might be about to change.

South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun Chong speaks at the 2007 signing of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement in Washington, D.C. Thus far, free trade voices have held sway in the Trump administration. But that might be about to change when it comes to trade with South Korea.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. trade pressure on South Korea comes as Washington is trying to maintain Seoul's cooperation in reining in North Korea. The two negotiations have run on parallel tracks -- with South Korea aware that the United States will pursue its trade agenda regardless of Seoul's cooperation against Pyongyang. However, trade has the potential to drive a wedge between the two allies, particularly as South Korea mulls the pursuit of a softer stance toward the North to avert a military conflict....

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