The dinner marked the first visit to the White House for Moon, who was elected president of his country in May. And Moon’s presidential office saidthe visit marked only the second time a foreign leader has visited the White house during the Trump administration.
According to CBS News, also in attendance were White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, National Security Council senior director for Asia Matthew Pottinger and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster
The dinner was held on the evening before the two nations have bilateral talks that are expected to smooth out differences the two countries have about how to deal with the possible threat from North Korea.
Trump has said that he wants South Korea to spend more money on its defense, including footing the bill for the $1 billion U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, which South Korea flatly denied in April.
“There is no change in South Korea and the United States’ position that our government provides the land and supporting facilities and the U.S. bears the cost of THAAD system’s deployment, operation and maintenance,” South Korea’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The two countries are also expected to talk about their free-trade deal, which Trump called a “disaster” in April and described it as a “one-way street” that only benefits South Korea, adding that he “may terminate” it altogether.
But prior to the dinner, Moon gave a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where he praised the deal and said both countries benefit.
“South Korea’s carmakers are creating investment and employment in production factories in the U.S. Outstanding U.S. companies are also creating jobs in South Korea in industrial innovation and research and development,” Moon said.