Provocations From North Won’t Deter U.S.-Korea Ties, Park Says

The U.S. and South Korea should deepen economic ties as North Korea threatens global security with bellicose rhetoric, South Korean President Park Geun Hye said.

“Korea is firmly committed to free trade, to economic openness, for creativity can never thrive in a closed economy,” Park said today at a luncheon sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. “We will make the Korea-U.S. alliance even stronger.”

South Korea, the seventh-largest U.S. trading partner, and the U.S. last year put into effect a free-trade agreement aimed at cutting about 80 percent of tariffs between the two nations. The U.S. and South Korea have been in a standoff with North Korea since February after the government in Pyongyang tested a nuclear weapon in defiance of United Nations sanctions and then threatened atomic strikes.

“No North Korean provocation can succeed,” Park said.

The U.S. exported $42.3 billion in merchandise including electronic products, chemicals and vehicles to South Korea in 2012. The U.S. trade deficit with the Asian nation increased 25 percent, to $16.6 billion, last year.

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