Seoul Has Hopes for FTA from Korea-U.S. Summit

      November 17, 2009 11:52

      A key Cheong Wa Dae official on Sunday said he expects more concrete progress on the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) from the meeting between President Lee Myung-bak and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama in Seoul on Thursday. Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk met last weekend at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Singapore and discussed how to take the epically delayed FTA forward.

      "We delivered our expectations about the FTA to the U.S. side," the official said. "The details can't be revealed at this point because we're still in negotiation with the U.S., but as two years have passed since both governments signed the FTA, our position is that it should come into effect soon."

      Another official said Seoul hopes for a "sincere" response from Obama to calls for quick implementation of the FTA. The five major issues on the agenda for this summit, the official said, are the FTA, North Korea's nuclear program, cooperation on the G20 Summit, ways to tackle climate change, and developing the alliance.

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