Pence to South Korea: ‘Our trade relationship is falling short’

Pence to South Korea: ‘Our trade relationship is falling short’
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence on Monday said the U.S. is not reaping the full benefits of trading with South Korea.

“We have to be honest about where our trade relationship is falling short,” he said in Seoul, according to pool reports. "Our businesses continue to face too many barriers to entry, which tilts the playing field against American workers.”

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Pence then urged South Korea to “level that playing field” by reevaluating the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA).

“We will work with you [to] reform KORUS in the days ahead,” he told about 100 U.S. and South Korean business representatives gathered for his remarks.

Pence’s meeting reportedly included representatives from Boeing, Ford, Visa, United Airlines, Oracle, Chevron and more.

The vice president said the U.S. will not waver on its decadeslong partnership South Korea amid rising tensions with North Korea.

“We are with you 100 percent, don’t doubt it for a second,” Pence told listeners during his roughly 17-minute remarks.

A senior North Korean official said Monday that the U.S. has “created a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any minute.”

“[North Korea] is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.,” Kim In Ryong, North Korea’s deputy United Nations ambassador, said in Panmunjom, North Korea.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have soared amid satellite imagery indicating that North Korea is preparing for its sixth nuclear test.

North Korea attempted to launch a ballistic missile off its east coast Sunday but ultimately failed, according to U.S. and South Korean military officials.

Trump has pressured China in recent weeks to help curb North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and deescalate tensions in Asia.