President Biden and Vice President Harris, I am deeply grateful to you for your special hospitality. The Korean and U.S. leaders and their delegations having face-to-face discussions today will bring hope for overcoming COVID-19 and become a meaningful gift to both Koreans and Americans on the 139th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
President Biden and I had candid conversations like old friends as we spent several hours together for the ceremony to award the Medal of Honor to a Korean War veteran as well as at the one-on-one and expanded summits.
We confirmed that our interests and commitments are the same on many issues, including the enhancement of democracy, inclusive growth, the broadening of the middle class and climate change responses. In particular, we reaffirmed the robustness of the ROK-U.S. alliance and our shared vision of making our alliance even stronger.
I am convinced that the trust built between President Biden and me during my visit to the United States this time will deepen friendship between our two peoples and serve as a solid foundation for supporting the steady advancement of the ROK-U.S. alliance.
The most urgent task that our two countries must achieve together is to bring complete denuclearization and permanent peace to the Korean Peninsula. Some time ago, the Biden Administration completed its North Korea policy review.
I welcome the Administration setting a direction for its North Korea policy that seeks diplomacy with the North through realistic and practical approaches based on what have been agreed upon, including the joint statement at the Singapore Summit.
I hold in high regard the fact that our two countries worked in thorough and close coordination during that review process. I also welcome President Biden’s appointment of Sung Kim as U.S. special envoy for North Korea.
I see it as indicative of how strongly the United States is determined to engage in diplomacy with North Korea through dialogue and is ready for talks. That post being filled by a professional remarkably adept at handling Korean Peninsula issues raises my expectations even higher.
President Biden and I reaffirmed our conviction that dialogue based on promises between the two Koreas as well as between the United States and North Korea is essential for creating a peaceful Korean Peninsula.
In addition, President Biden expressed his support for inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation. In close collaboration with the United States, we will strive to facilitate inter-Korean relations, so that a virtuous cycle will be achieved for U.S.-North Korea talks.
Going forward, our two countries will continue to communicate closely and seek an approach to North Korea through dialogue and diplomacy. I look forward to North Korea’s positive response.
We can safeguard and build peace when backed by strong security. President Biden and I agreed to further strengthen our combined defense posture and reaffirmed our two countries’ commitment to transfer wartime operational control to the Republic of Korea.
In addition, I am pleased to announce the termination of ROK-U.S. missile guidelines. Together with the conclusion of the defense cost sharing agreement in the early days of the Biden Administration, it is a symbolic and substantive measure that vividly displays the robustness of the ROK-U.S. alliance.
At today’s summit, President Biden and I agreed to expand cooperation in newly emerging areas in step with changes in the times and environment.
First, we will join forces to overcome the present challenge – COVID-19. We agreed to establish a comprehensive KORUS Global Vaccine Partnership that combines the advanced technology of the United States and Korea’s production capabilities.
Our bilateral cooperation will help accelerate a complete end to the virus by increasing global vaccine supplies. We also agreed to continue pursuing multilateral cooperation through the Global Health Security Agenda to improve the capacity to respond to infectious diseases.
Amid this greater vaccine cooperation framework came an important announcement that shows the robustness of the ROK-U.S. alliance. I am grateful to President Biden for having announced that the ROK military will be supplied with vaccines.
I believe that the United States’ announcement is a meaningful step that extends the special history of the ROK-U.S. alliance to the healthcare sector.
Second, we agreed to closely cooperate to build stable supply chains in state-of-the-art manufacturing sectors like semiconductors, electric-vehicle batteries and pharmaceuticals.
As the transition to the digital era accelerates, the importance of cutting-edge and emerging technologies is growing. In response to the post-COVID-19 era, our two countries will strengthen cooperation in the areas of the private sector’s space exploration, 6G and green energy, thereby securing global competitiveness.
Moreover, we also agreed to reinforce cooperation in jointly entering nuclear power markets around the world.
Third, we will further solidify cooperation between our two countries to resolve the climate crisis.
Our two countries are leading global cooperation with climate change responses. The Leaders Summit on Climate was successfully held in the United States in April. Through the P4G Seoul Summit next week, Korea plans to once again unite the international community’s will to respond to climate change.
I welcome President Biden’s participation in the P4G Seoul Summit next week through video conferencing, and I look forward to this becoming a great driving force that will help unite the will of the international community.
President Biden and I attended the ceremony to award the Medal of Honor to Korean War veteran Colonel Ralph Puckett Jr. I became more confident that our two countries will usher in a new future together by building upon the foundation of the ROK-U.S. alliance that is rooted in the noble sacrifices of our heroes.
Today’s meeting between President Biden and myself as well as between the United States and the Republic of Korea will mark a new milestone in bilateral cooperation toward a new era.
Once again, I express my deep gratitude for the warm hospitality shown by President Biden. I hope that we communicate frequently and mutual consultations continue.
Finally, it is fortunate that Israel and Hamas agreed on a ceasefire yesterday, and I appreciate President Biden’s endeavor and leadership.