>> South Korea is a lynchpin for GM's overseas operations. So the announcement that General Motors would shutdown one of its factories there with an uncertain future for its other operations has shocked many industry watchers. Particularly the government in Seoul, who sources were in the middle of negotiations to keep GM afloat there when they were hit with the surprise decision.
Reuters' Han Jae-jin is at the PyeongChang Olympics. She says it was supposed to be a week of good news for the country.>> GM executive Perry Engel visited South Korea last week, and he met several senior South Korean government officials and lawmakers. And he asked for South Korean government's help for his loss-making unit in South Korea.
But then he did not mention any possible plant closure in South Korea. So GM's announcement is a major distraction for South Korean government who's focused on using the Winter Games to engage the North Korean labor.>> General Motors allegedly gave Seoul less than a day's notice before the decision.
And one source said the government had a quote deeply rooted distrust of the company for some time. Who they believe has not been transparent with it's finances. GM employs roughly 16,000 people in the country. At one point, responsible for a fifth of GM's products, but it's faced losses for years.
The South Korean situation's been further complicated by the Trump administration's push to renegotiate it's standing free trade agreement.>> Just shortly after GM announce, Trump said GM is going to move production and jobs from South Korea to the United States. Apperently GM is producing small cars and SUVs for US exports in South Korea.
>> GM scaled back its foreign assets significantly in recent years. In 2013, it pulled Chevrolet out of Europe entirely.