November 02, 2017 12:34
U.S. President Donald Trump is determined to push for a revision to the Seoul-Washington free trade agreement when he visits South Korea next week, the White House said Tuesday.
In an address to the National Assembly, Trump will also call on the international community to put the utmost pressure on North Korea in response to its nuclear threat.
Trump has decided not to go to the demilitarized zone but will instead visit Camp Humphreys, a U.S. military base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, on Nov. 7, the first day of his visit.
Later in the day he meets with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in and attends a state dinner. The FTA and the North Korean nuclear issue will be top of the agenda when the two presidents meet. The following day, he will address the National Assembly and pay his respects at the National Cemetery before leaving for Beijing.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told Fox News on Monday, "North Korea with nuclear weapons is an issue that keeps him up at night."
Commenting on Trump's decision not to visit the DMZ, the White House official said that Trump does not have enough time. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson already visited the DMZ in March, Vice President Mike Pence in April, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis last week.
The official said no other U.S. president has visited Camp Humphreys yet, and Trump's trip there will be a better expression of support for the alliance.
Trump also visits Vietnam and Japan on this trip. In Japan, he is to play golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, meet the emperor, visit an air base and meet with families of people abducted by North Korea in the 1960s and 70s. In China, he sits down with his counterpart Xi Jinping and attends a series of economic and trade talks.
Despite the White House's emphasis on the tour of Asia, Trump "has ordered many of his top officials to stay back and campaign for tax reform around America," U.S. news website Axios said Tuesday.
Trump's daughter Ivanka, a senior White House advisor, has "canceled meetings she had arranged in China and South Korea as part of the Asia trip." But "she's still visiting Japan, ahead of her father, to give a speech at the invitation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but will fly back over the weekend to begin the tax push," Axios added.
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