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Trump, Moon Present Unified Front Against North Korea


U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in deliver a joint statement from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, June 30, 2017.

President Donald Trump on Friday declared the U.S. has run out of patience with North Korea, as he met with his South Korean counterpart at the White House.

Speaking in the Rose Garden alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump vowed a "determined response" against Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

Watch: US, South Korea Leaders Agree to Respond Strongly to North Korean Provocations

"The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed," Trump said, referring to his predecessors' approach to the North. "Many years and it's failed, and frankly, that patience is over."

Trump and Moon differ over exactly how much to pressure the North into giving up its weapons programs. Both leaders also have criticized certain aspects of their countries' defense cooperation.

But on Friday the two leaders presented a unified front.

Words of praise

After a discussion that lasted about 30 minutes longer than scheduled, Moon praised Trump's "determination and pragmatism" and said they were able to build a "broad consensus" on issues ranging from defense ties to the North Korean nuclear issue.

The White House said the two leaders “pledged to continue to coordinate closely to achieve our shared goal of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.”

"The North Korean nuclear issue must be resolved without fail," Moon said. "North Korea should by no means underestimate the firm commitment of Korea and the U.S. in this regard."

Few specifics were given about North Korea strategy. Moon said both "sanctions and dialogue" would be used in dealing with Pyongyang, while Trump's comments focused more on applying additional pressure.

WATCH: Moon on relationship with US


According to the White House, both presidents expressed “deep concern” about the well-being of North Koreans, “particularly in light of the egregious human rights violations and abuses committed against them by the government.”

It was the first meeting between Trump, a billionaire former real estate developer, and Moon, a liberal human rights lawyer who took office last month. The meeting was closely watched, not only because of the stark personality differences between the two leaders, but also for the potential areas of disagreement.

During the presidential campaign, Trump harshly criticized South Korean trade practices. He also frequently slammed Seoul and other U.S. allies for not paying enough for defense protection from the U.S.

On Friday, Trump assured Moon that the U.S. "will always defend our allies," but he added that there needs to be "fair burden-sharing in South Korea."

Trade

On trade, Trump said the existing U.S.-South Korea trade agreement has been "rough for the U.S." and that he is working to create a "fair and reciprocal" economic relationship with South Korea.

WATCH: Trump on trade


Since the current trade deal went into effect in 2012, the U.S. trade deficit with Seoul has doubled.

"Not exactly a great deal," Trump complained Friday.

WATCH: On the agenda for Trump, Moon visit: North Korea, trade

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