UPDATE : 2018.9.22 SAT 05:13
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Moon, Trump begin talks on N. Korea, trade, alliance

The leaders of South Korea and the United States began their talks Tuesday centering on North Korea's nuclear threats and the proposed revision of the bilateral free trade agreement.

U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in South Korea earlier in the day, making him the first U.S. leader in 25 years to make a state visit to the country.

The bilateral summit between Trump and President Moon Jae-in is third of its kind since they each took office earlier in the year.

Before the talks, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae offered an official welcoming ceremony for Trump. The two leaders inspected a 300-member honor guard and a military band played the official presidential anthem for the U.S. president, "Hail to the Chief."

The talks were largely expected to focus on their joint efforts to denuclearize North Korea and on ways to strengthen the countries' alliance. Pyongyang staged its sixth and most powerful nuclear test so far on Sept. 3.

Trump said trade issues will be high on the agenda.

"We have a terrific meeting scheduled on trade in a little while with President Moon and his representatives," he said while meeting U.S. troops at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, according to a White House transcript.

"And we will -- hopefully, that will start working out, and working out so that we create lots of jobs in the United States, which is one the reasons -- one of the very important reasons I'm here," he added.

Camp Humphreys, located 70 kilometers south of Seoul, was the first stop in Trump's two-day trip to the country. He was joined at the base by Moon for lunch with South Korean and U.S. service members there.

The bilateral summit will be followed by an expanded summit, involving several top government officials from both countries, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Moon and Trump are set to hold a joint press conference on the outcome of their talks later in the day.

Kim Sua  edt@koreapost.com

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