President Moon Jae-in was presented with the credentials of five new ambassadors to Korea, including U.S. Ambassador Harry Harris, at the main building in Cheong Wa Dae this morning. The credential is a formal letter from the incoming ambassador’s head of state to the host country's head of state requesting that credence be given to the ambassador’s statements.
President Moon told the new U.S. Ambassador that the robust solidarity of the ROK-U.S. alliance was more important than ever for achieving common goals on the Korean Peninsula at a critical juncture with inter-Korean and North Korea-U.S. talks underway. The President added he hoped Ambassador Harris, who has special ties with Korea, would play a significant role.
Noting that the North started taking apart its missile-engine test site and missile launch site following the dismantlement of its nuclear test site according to the intelligence agencies of South Korea and the United States, the President said these moves constituted a good sign with regard to the North's denuclearization.
The President also said that talks between North Korea and the United States should gain momentum if the repatriation of the remains of U.S. soldiers missing from the Korean War was carried out as promised.
Ambassador Harris said he was looking forward to the North dismantling the missile-engine test site and repatriating the remains of American soldiers. He went on to say that these measures would be an important indication of the sincerity of Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of North Korea.
President Moon and Ambassador Harris exchanged their opinions on Korea’s automotive exports, the sharing of defense costs and sanctions against Iran.
At the end of their conversation, President Moon said he had heard that the Ambassador enjoyed drinking Andong Soju and suggested they drink together someday.
The Ambassador said with a smile that they could easily run out of his stock of Andong Soju if they were going to drink while talking about so many pending issues between Korea and the United States.
President Moon also received a letter of credence from four other new ambassadors: Philip Turner from New Zealand, Alfred Xuereb from the Vatican, Frode Solberg from Norway and Peter Lescouhier from Belgium.