President Moon Jae-in urged the US to actively invest in the Korean economy during his meeting with prominent businessmen in New York, as he attends the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly this week.
In a meeting with American financial heads including the chairman of Goldman Sachs at the New York Intercontinental Hotel, Moon assured international business leaders that the fundamentals of the Korean economy are excellent despite ongoing concerns regarding the “North Korea risk.”
“The Korean economy has grown stronger every time it has faced a crisis and has achieved remarkable economic development,” Moon said. “Even in the unprecedented political upheaval of last winter, the candlelight revolution brought about a peaceful regime change.”
“The ROK-US alliance is very strong now, and the ROK-US cooperation is very close regarding North Korea‘s nuclear and missile countermeasures,” the president added. “Korea and the United States are in agreement that sanctions and pressure (against the North) must be resolved through diplomatic and peaceful means. Although we cannot say there is no ‘North Korea risk,’ the Korean economy is steadily growing solid.”
Moon also explained that the new government has shifted the economic policy paradigm to a “people-centered economy,” in which his administration intends to raise household incomes and inject more funds into human capital.
“Korea and the United States are among the worst in the world in economic inequality and this is holding back the growth of our economies,” said Moon. “The solution to this is to raise household incomes.”
Also during the meeting, President Moon mentioned the ongoing ambiguity regarding potential revisions to the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement as per President Donald Trump’s moves to tackle the US’ deepening trade deficit. Moon reiterated Korea’s stance that the 5-year-old trade deal remains mutually beneficially to both parties.
“The Korea-US Free Trade Agreement is an agreement that benefits both countries,” said Moon. “I would like to have a fair assessment of the reciprocity of the Korea-US FTA.”
Korea’s top trade negotiator Kim Hyun-chong had his first face-to-face meeting with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington on Wednesday to further discuss the future the bilateral trade deal. Further details regarding the outcome of the meeting were not disclosed by either party.
The meeting comes roughly one month after a special joint committee session was held between Washington and Korea in Seoul where Kim and Lighthizer spoke via video conference. According to Korea’s trade negotiator, during the first joint session between the two sides, the US suggested certain amendments be made to trade deal. Kim, however, stated that the governments were unable to come to any sort of agreement.
By Julie Jackson (email@example.com