HomeUnited StatesSecretary Antony J. Blinken and Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul...

Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul Before Their Meeting – United States Department of State

SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, good afternoon, everyone. It’s a great pleasure, Foreign Minister, to have you here. We were just together just a few days ago in Brazil on the margins of the G20, where we had a very good, productive trilateral meeting with our colleague from Japan. But it’s important and timely to have you here in Washington at the State Department.

Korea and the United States, our partnership is stronger than it’s ever been. And I can say that on a bilateral basis, on a regional basis, on a global basis. And that’s largely because of the extraordinary leadership that Korea shows in all three areas, something that the United States is grateful for. We’re working together on virtually every major challenge that we have to contend with around the world, as well as working together to build even greater opportunities for our people here in the United States and in South Korea.

So I know we have a lot to cover, to talk about, in so many different areas. But I’m also grateful to Korea for hosting the next Summit for Democracy. This is something near and dear to the heart of President Biden. We’re grateful that you’ve picked up the torch on the Summit for Democracy, and I very much look forward to being in South Korea and participating.

So, Tae-yul, welcome. Very good to have you here today.

FOREIGN MINISTER CHO: Thank you, Tony. It’s a great honor to be here today, and I’m grateful for your warm welcome to me and my party. Just six days have passed since we met in Rio. You were also the very first to call to congratulate me on my first day in office. And I look forward to seeing you again in three weeks for the third Summit for Democracy you have just committed to attend, which I very much appreciate.

The frequency of our encounters underscores the depth and strength of our partnership, which culminated in President Yoon’s historic state visit last year, the 70th anniversary of the ROK-U.S. alliance. So this year marks the beginning of a new year in the annals of our alliance, continuously growing to new heights. President Yoon and President Biden reaffirmed the determination to expand and strengthen the alliance as a global comprehensive strategic alliance through five successful meetings.

In the face of regional and global challenges, the Republic of Korea and the United States have always moved in lockstep. We are one in condemning North Korea’s increasingly provocative rhetoric and actions that violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions, including its export of munitions and ballistic missiles to Russia. We continue to stand together in supporting Ukraine, and we are united in condemning Houthi attacks and work together to uphold navigational rights and freedom in the Gulf of Aden.

All of our actions are possible thanks to the robust U.S. commitment to the alliance and its extended deterrence, in which Korea has full confidence. There’s truly no daylight in our combined readiness posture. As part of the global comprehensive strategic alliance, our collaboration has broadened to encompass key areas, including climate security, AI, quantum technology, space exploration, and other cutting-edge technologies. They are bringing significant benefits to both our businesses and peoples.

Moreover, we have made historic strides in our trilateral cooperation with Japan, as evidenced by the Camp David agreements. Strengthening our trilateral coordination is essential for addressing common security challenges, promoting stability, and enhancing prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.

Lastly, the alliance is sustained and strengthened by the values we share. We are working to stand up for human rights and democratic values. In this sense, I thank the U.S. for its full support in making the upcoming third Summit for Democracy a success.

So we have much to follow up, and I very much look forward to having fruitful and productive discussions with you today. Thank you very much indeed.

SECRETARY BLINKEN: Thanks so much. Thanks, everyone.

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