Obama to Visit Detroit Auto Plant with South Korean Counterpart

Posted October 14th, 2011 at 12:35 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will travel to Detroit, Michigan Friday to promote a new bilateral trade deal passed this week by the U.S. Congress.

The two leaders will visit a factory operated by U.S. automaker General Motors. Mr. Obama has said the trade deal will open South Korea's market to U.S.-made automobiles and other goods, supporting 70,000 U.S. jobs and boosting American exports by $11 billion.

Mr. Obama has said he would like to see Koreans driving U.S.-built cars the way many Americans drive Korean cars.

Mr. Lee thanked U.S. lawmakers for approving the deal in a speech before a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress Thursday. He received a standing ovation when he thanked U.S. servicemen for helping to protect South Korea in the past and present.

The North Korean nuclear dispute has been at the center of talks between the two leaders since Mr. Lee's visit began Wednesday. Both presidents agreed that they remain united in their approach to the isolated communist regime.

Thursday night, Mr. Obama and his wife Michelle hosted Mr. Lee and his wife, Kim Yoon-ok, at a formal state dinner at the White House, with the leaders toasting each other as close friends, and praising the Washington-Seoul alliance. The U.S. president drew laughs when he revealed Mr. Lee's nickname — “Bulldog.”

Among the hundreds of guests was U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a native South Korean.