Republican candidate DeSantis discusses trade and North Korea in Seoul

On the second leg of his four-nation tour before a potential presidential bid, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis met with South Korea’s prime minister in Seoul on Wednesday to talk trade and North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
DeSantis is in Seoul as Yoon Suk Yeol, the president of South Korea, is in Washington on a six-day state visit. DeSantis is generally anticipated to run for the Republican nomination in the 2020 presidential election.

This week, he began his foreign tour in Japan, which was largely viewed as an effort to bolster his reputation as a diplomat and security expert.He met with Kim Dong-yeon, the governor of the province of Gyeonggi in South Korea, to discuss enhancing economic collaboration, notably in sectors like biotechnology. The headquarters of Samsung Electronics, social networking behemoth NAVER, and other companies are in Gyeonggi.

The Florida governor later met with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo for talks, during which he “emphasized the importance of the history and alliance between” Seoul and Washington, according to a statement from Han’s office.

Han said that he briefed DeSantis on Seoul’s “policies toward complete denuclearization of North Korea.”

Han’s office said without going into detail that he and DeSantis also spoke about regional and international concerns, including those involving Northeast Asia.

In response to North Korea’s increasing nuclear threats, Washington and its Asian allies Tokyo and Seoul are seeking deeper military coordination.
In response to a G7 demand that leader Kim Jong Un completely give up his nuclear weapons, North Korea declared this week that its status as a nuclear power was “irreversible and final”.

China, Pyongyang’s most significant friend and financial supporter, considers democratic Taiwan to be a part of its territory and has promised to one day annexe the island.

In a statement to a Japanese media outlet on Tuesday, DeSantis emphasized the significance of preventing violence over Taiwan and said that “what China respects is strength.”

Along with Britain, Israel is another stop that is customary for US presidential candidates, notably Republicans.

Despite not having formally declared his candidacy for president in 2024, DeSantis already poses the greatest polling and media attention danger to former president Donald Trump.

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