- Getty Images/Pool
- President Donald Trump may “hold up” a new trade deal with South Korea until after his meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
- Trump may block the deal because “it’s a very strong card and I want to make sure everyone is treated fairly” in the talks with North Korea.
- Trump has called the previous version of the trade deal, known as KORUS, “horrible.”
President Donald Trump said Thursday that he is considering slowing down negotiations on a new trade deal with South Korea to maintain maximum pressure on North Korea before his planned summit with Kim Jung Un.
“Just this week we secured a wonderful deal with South Korea, we were in a deal that was a horror show,” Trump said. “It was going to produce 200,000 jobs and it did, for them. That was a Hillary Clinton special, I hate to say. … So we’ve redone it and that’s going to level the playing field on steel and cars and truck coming into this country.”
But Trump said wanted a bit more from South Korea before the new trade deal is approved.
“And I may hold it up until after a deal is made with North Korea, does everybody understand that? Do you know why? Do you know why?” Trump asked. “Because it’s a very strong card and I want to make sure everyone is treated fairly, and everything is moving along very nicely with North Korea.”
South Korea helped to facilitate the upcoming, unprecedented summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. South Korea’s leaders leaders credited the president’s strategy of maximum pressure for the historic talks.
It appears Trump believes holding up what he considers a “wonderful deal” for the US until later in the North Korea negotiations will help keep pressure on South Korea to facilitate the talks.
The president did conclude the riff by thanking South Korea for their help in the talks.
“It’s going to be very interesting over the next period of time, and South Korea has been wonderful, ” Trump said. “But, we’ll probably hold that deal up for a little while and see how it all plays out.”