Thank you, Mr. Jung Kyu-jae for the kind introduction. President Kim Ki-woong, Dr. Kim Joo-hyun-- It is a pleasure to speak to such a distinguished audience of journalists, intellectuals, and entrepreneurs.
I was invited here this morning to speak about the future of U.S.–Korea cooperation. Of course, our bilateral relationship does not take place in a vacuum. We are members of the rising Asia-Pacific community. Economically, Asia itself already accounts for more than one-quarter of global GDP. Over the next five years, nearly half of all growth outside the United States is expected to come from Asia. This growth is fueling powerful geopolitical forces: China’s ascent, Japan’s ...view middle of the document...
N. Security Council resolutions.
We will continue to coordinate closely with Seoul and our other allies to enforce the latest sanctions imposed by the Security Council. North Korea must be made to understand that its provocations are counter-productive and will only lead to increased isolation. We remain committed to full denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
To counter the threat posed by North Korea, we continue to work together to improve the interoperable capabilities of the combined forces. There are two major defense procurement competitions approaching completion that will greatly enhance Korea’s military capabilities. Soon, decisions will be made on adding new heavy attack helicopters and advanced fighter aircraft to the ROK military, adding powerful deterrent capabilities for our combined defense. It is my hope that the Korean Government will select from among the interoperable and highly capable U.S. platforms being offered.
The second pillar of our bilateral relationship is a growing global partnership that goes beyond the peninsula. I believe this is one of the most interesting and exciting aspects of our bilateral relationship, and a great example of where our alliance is headed in the 21st century.
Sixty years ago, the United States provided development assistance to Korea… but today, within the guidelines of our 2011 Development Cooperation Agreement, we are partners in providing development assistance in places like Africa and Southeast Asia. Together, we also fight terrorism in Afghanistan, maintain peace in places like Haiti and Lebanon, and counter piracy off the coast of Somalia. We have a truly global partnership.
We also look to Korea as a partner and a leader on many other issues, including promoting cyber security and countering human trafficking. We work closely with Korea to invest in research and development of technologies that combat climate change and provide energy security.
No part of the world will have a greater impact on the 21st century than the Asia-Pacific region. Korea’s leadership in regional organizations like Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the East Asia Summit (EAS) will play a pivotal role in designing our shared tomorrow.
I have spoken about our security and global partnerships, but the core of our friendship is the inseparable bond between the peoples of our two countries. Our growing people-to-people ties form the third pillar of our partnership.
At our Embassy in Seoul, we are working hard to expand these ties. Through the International Visitor Leadership Program (now in its 73rd year), more than 1,200 future Korean leaders have visited the United States. The list of IVLP alumni includes two former presidents, seven former Prime Ministers and numerous other political leaders. Through the Fulbright program, over 1,100 American college graduates (since...