"We have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them," Trump said Wednesday in a fundraising speech — an audio recording of which was obtained by the Post.
"We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers between North and South Korea. Let's see what happens," Trump said.
South Korea, a U.S. ally, is among the economies that came under attack by Trump for the state of their trade balances with the U.S. The president last year threatened to scrap the bilateral trade pact between the two countries, which is known as Korus.
Re-negotiations of the deal started in January 2018.