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Can Obama, Lee sell lawmakers on US-South Korea free trade deal?

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South Korea's main opposition Democratic Party, for instance, planned a major national campaign against ratification.

Park Jie-won, Democratic Party leader in Korea’s National Assembly, accused the government of having made “too many concessions” on “people’s lives and safety” by easing stringent requirements on motor vehicles.

South Korea’s trade minister, Kim Jong-hoon, however, denied having made too many concessions, calling it a “win win” for both countries.”

Happy presidents

Mr. Obama couched the agreement, the biggest US trade deal since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico in 1994, as a breakthrough in American efforts to overcome its yawning trade deficit and regain lost respect as a top trading power. With that goal in mind, he said the agreement “shows the US is willing to lead and compete in the global economy” while “opening new markets around the world to products that are made in America."

Mr. Lee, under fire from critics for appearing weak and vacillating in dealing with North Korea’s artillery barrage on a small South Korean island in the Yellow Sea on Nov. 23, said the agreement “lays the groundwork for a 'win-win' relationship by reflecting the national interests of Korea and the United States in a balanced manner."

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