Trump shouts out South Korean golfers in national address

Trump: Korean golfers among best on Earth
Trump: Korean golfers among best on Earth

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Trump: Korean golfers among best on Earth 01:05

Story highlights

  • Trump also plugged his own golf course
  • He drew laughter and applause from local lawmakers

Seoul (CNN)President Donald Trump, perhaps seeking to endear himself to South Korean legislators, drew attention Wednesday to the prowess of Korean golfers during an otherwise deadly serious speech before South Korea's National Assembly.

Trump drew laughter and applause from local lawmakers when he remarked that "Korean golfers are some of the best on earth" and noted that the US Women's Open Championship was held at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, this year.
"In fact -- and you know what I'm going to say," Trump said with a grin, "the women's US Open was held this year at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey."
    As the audience laughed, he added: "And it just happened to be won by a great Korean golfer."
    Trump piled on the praise for Korea's affinity for golf, noting that "eight of the top 10 players were from Korea and the top four golfers -- one, two, three, four -- the top four were from Korea."
    "Congratulations," he concluded, drawing applause.
    The remarks are not the first time Trump has used golf to bridge cultural divides and bond with leaders from other countries.
    Though he hasn't golfed with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump arrived in Seoul on the heels of a visit to Japan, where he hit the links with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Trump had previously golfed with Abe at one of his Florida golf courses.
    Trump's plug for his Trump-branded golf course could draw criticism from government ethics experts, who have knocked Trump in the past for blurring the lines between his official role as President and his private businesses. Trump has repeatedly plugged various properties bearing his name in official remarks.
    Trump's golf talk was a brief moment of levity in what was otherwise a sternly delivered speech in which he warned North Korea against any further provocations and called for urgent action to prevent Pyongyang from further developing its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities.