S Korea expects progress on FTA during summit with Obama

19:21, November 09, 2009      

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South Korea will closely coordinate with the United States during an upcoming summit between President Lee Myung-bak and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama, in a bid to push forward the ratification of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said on Monday.

The two governments and their leaders have repeatedly said they will make efforts to gain approval of the FTA, and the two presidents will also discuss the issue sincerely during the summit due on Nov. 19, Kim Eun-hye, Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman said in a press briefing.

Seoul is hoping that President Obama will express a more aggressive position on the FTA, and the government is making efforts towards it, Kim said.

Seoul and Washington signed the trade deal in June 2007, but the pact still needs to be ratified by the parliaments of both countries before taking effect.

Citing that a group of U.S. lawmakers recently sent a letter to Obama to ask expediting the process for legislative approval of the deal, the spokeswoman said the trend growing in the United States will play a positive role in boosting in-depth discussions on the issue between the two leaders.

U.S. President Barack Obama will embark on his first Asian trip next week. South Korea is the last stop of the tour which will also include Japan, China and Singapore.

Source: Xinhua
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