Thank you, Mr. President. I’d like to express my deep gratitude to President Biden and the American people for extending such warm hospitality to me and my delegation. I congratulate the United States on becoming an example to the world as it succeeds in overcoming COVID-19, achieving economic recovery and uniting the nation under President Biden’s leadership.
The Republic of Korea and the United States have a strong alliance, forged more than 70 years ago. America is our everlasting friend who helped us and led us in our most dire moment. I’m very pleased that my first trip overseas since the spread of COVID-19 is to the United States to meet President Biden and his new team.
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, our two countries left the door open to each other, helped each other fight the virus and kept our people and goods flowing. With semiconductors, batteries, communication and other areas that will shape the post-COVID-19 era, we are seeing successful cooperation between our two countries’ businesses and industries increase. Expanding cooperation between the United States – a global business center – and Korea – a rising economic hub in East Asia – will facilitate economic recovery for not only the two countries, but the entire world.
In previous meetings with President Biden, we affirmed our joint commitment to strengthening the ROK-U.S. alliance and establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula. I believe our peoples will be delighted to hear this just one day shy of the 139th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations. Korea will closely work with the United States to achieve complete denuclearization and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The world welcomes America’s return, and hopes are high that America’s leaders will do more than ever before. President Biden, himself, also underscored the importance of building back better and expressed his willingness to resolve humanity’s common challenges through the power of example.
Although difficult challenges lie ahead, as allies that share core values, our two countries will actively work together to address global challenges such as COVID-19, economic recovery and climate change. We will usher in a new era.
Following our meeting today, I look forward to meeting President Biden again in the not-too-distant future in Seoul.
Thank you very much.