President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a Rose Garden press conference after holding discussions in the Oval Office on Friday. Trump said on Friday that America’s patience with North Korea is now "is over." Trump said, "The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed." He added, "And frankly, that patience is over."
 
Trump said that the country faces "the threat of the reckless and brutal regime in North Korea," adding the North Korean regime "has no regard for the safety and security of its people or its neighbors." He said, "The North Korean dictatorship has no regard for the safety and security of its people or its neighbors and has no respect for human life -- and that's been proven over and over again."
 
Trump has approved a number of measures to address North Korean aggression, which has included the development of missiles and nuclear weapons. South Korea is also concerned about its northern neighbor’s bellicose posture. On Thursday, the Treasury Department announced new sanctions on a Chinese bank and several Chinese nationals while the State Department approved a $1 billion arms deal with Taiwan. These are moves that are bound to alarm China: North Korea’s patron which has resisted placing pressure on the maverick dictatorship.
 
Trump’s discussions with the South Korean leader also focused on trade. He said that the current bilateral free trade deal that was signed during the Obama administration is a bad deal for the United States. "We are renegotiating a trade deal right now as we speak with South Korea and hopefully it will an equitable deal, a fair deal to both parties," Trump said in Oval Office before the press conference. "It's been a rough deal for the United States but I think that it will be much different for the United States."
 
Moon said he and Trump had "honest discussions" at dinner on Thursday night concerning North Korea and other issues. "It was a great opportunity for us to further the trust and friendship between me and President Trump," Moon said. "It was also an opportunity for us to reconfirm the fact that the United States and Korea are walking together on the same path towards a great alliance."
 
Sweetening any strategic deal between the governments, South Korean companies announced Thursday plans to import more American shale gas and build factories in the U.S. as the two countries' leaders prepare to hold talks in Washington where trade is expected to be a key issue.
 
The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Samsung -- South Korea's largest business consortium -- announced on Thursday new investments before the bilateral meeting at the White House. In the midst of American complaints about a trade imbalance, which Trump highlighted in remarks on Friday, Samsung announced that it will spend $380 million to build a home appliance factory in South Carolina. Additionally, it will spend $1.5 billion on its semiconductor plant in Texas. LG Electronics said it will put $250 million into building a washing machine plant in Tennessee and $300 million on a facility in New Jersey.
 
Earlier this week, SK Group signed an agreement with GE and Continental Resources to jointly develop U.S. shale gas. The group, which owns South Korea's largest mobile carrier and second-largest semiconductor company, will import American liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas starting in 2020 to help diversify its energy imports.
 
On Thursday, Trump announced that an oil pipeline will extend between the United States and Mexico, going “under the wall” he has proposed building along their shared border.
 

 



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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