I am glad to meet you all. I welcome the delegation from the U.S. Congressional Study Group on Korea to Cheong Wa Dae and Korea. It is my pleasure to meet Co-Chair Representative Young Kim again. I recall Co-Chair Representative Ami Bera came to Cheong Wa Dae in 2017 so this is your second visit.
I still remember the hospitality extended to me by the U.S. Congress when I visited the United States in May. Both the House and the Senate passed a resolution to welcome my visit. During a meeting with the leadership of the House of Representatives, they extended support for the solid ROK-U.S. alliance and the peace process on the Korean Peninsula. This visit to Korea by a bipartisan delegation from the House of Representatives comes after one by the Senate last month. I believe this shows how much importance the U.S. Congress places on our alliance.
Of note, the Study Group on Korea has seen its membership increase significantly from 20 to 50 since its launch in 2018. It has been making great contributions to promoting Korea-U.S. relations through vibrant activities such as annual visits to Korea and the hosting of roundtables. All of this, I think, can be credited to the efforts of Co-Chairs Ami Bera and Young Kim and other Representatives among its members.
Building upon the recent ROK-U.S. summit, Korea and the United States are opening a new chapter in cooperation as more comprehensive, mutually beneficial and strategic allies. I am deeply grateful to the U.S. Congress for firmly supporting the development of bilateral relations. I ask for your steadfast interest and backing so that the ROK-U.S. alliance can evolve into the most exemplary of its kind and bring about permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
I would also like to thank Korea Society President Thomas Byrne for having long played an important role for Korea. I once again welcome the delegation to Korea and Cheong Wa Dae with deep appreciation.