The Latest: SKorea to buy shale gas, build new US factories

The Latest on the U.S. visit of South Korea’s president (all times local):

3:30 a.m.

South Korean companies say they plan to import more American shale gas and build new factories in the U.S. as the two countries’ leaders prepare to hold summit talks in Washington.

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry said Thursday that major South Korean companies announced a slew of proposed investments and other good news for the American economy ahead of President Moon Jae-in’s meetings Friday with President Donald Trump.

Electronics conglomerate Samsung said it plans to spend $380 million on a home appliance factory in South Carolina and LG will put $250 million into a plant in Tennessee. Other companies announced plans to buy American crude oil, gas and aircraft.

The U.S. trade deficit with South Korea has nearly doubled since a bilateral trade agreement took effect in 2012.

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5:00 p.m.

South Korea’s president has begun a U.S. visit with an emotional tribute to Marines who fought in one of the fiercest battles of the Korean War that helped in the mass evacuation of Korean civilians, including his own parents.

President Moon Jae-in (MOON JAAH IHN) laid a wreath at a Marines base in Quantico, Virginia. A monument there marks the 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, when heavily outnumbered American forces bought time for about 100,000 Korean civilians to be shipped out to safety.

Moon said that had it not been for their sacrifice, “my life would not have begun as it has and I would not be here today.” He was born in 1953 in South Korea.

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Moon’s four-day Washington visit culminates in his first meeting with President Donald Trump.

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3:00 p.m.

South Korea’s new leader is coming to Washington on a visit aimed at reconciling differences with President Donald Trump.

President Moon Jae-in (MOON JAAH IHN) won election last month. He’s advocated a softer approach to North Korea and delaying U.S. plans for the full deployment of a missile defense system in South Korea.

His conservative predecessor — who’d taken a hard line on the North, like Trump — was impeached in a bribery scandal.

Moon has long favored engaging North Korea despite the North’s rapidly advancing nuclear capability. The North’s rapid tempo of missile tests has continued on Moon’s watch.

Moon’s first stop in Washington will be to honor Marines who fought in the Korean War. He meets Trump for dinner on Thursday night and for talks Friday.

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