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Report: US may seek to expand LNG exports to Korea as part of trade deal

South Korea Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong on Oct. 13 said the U.S. may seek to bolster shale gas exports to South Korea if the two countries renegotiate a free trade agreement, Reuters reported Oct. 13.

South Korea, the world’s second-biggest liquefied natural gas importer after Japan, had indicated the week of Oct. 2 that it was open to discussing revisions to the five-year-old bilateral deal, the report said. The two countries had earlier failed to reach an agreement on amendments to the trade pact.

U.S. President Donald Trump had called the trade agreement a "horrible deal" and suggested that he would renegotiate or terminate it. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in July that the U.S. trade deficit in goods with South Korea doubled to $27.6 billion in 2016 from $13.2 billion in 2011.

South Korea received its first LNG cargo in July under a 20-year supply deal with Cheniere Energy Inc. through Korea Gas Corp.

Earlier this year, the White House wrapped up its "energy week" with the administration touting LNG exports as one way it can accomplish its promises to cut the U.S. trade deficit while bolstering energy security abroad.