Remarks at the State Luncheon in Honor of the State Visit of Republic of Korea President Lee and Mrs. Kim Yoon-Ok

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ben Franklin Room
Washington, DC
October 13, 2011

Please be seated and welcome to the Ben Franklin Room here on the eighth floor of the State Department for this celebratory state lunch in honor of President Lee, Mrs. Kim, and the Korean delegation. It is especially fitting that President Lee is here for the first state visit by a Korean president in 13 years.

Our alliance has never been stronger and the enduring partnership that we have built over decades of cooperation is a symbol of security, stability, peace, and prosperity. And President Lee’s vision for a global Korea is strengthening and deepening our relationship in new areas from peacekeeping to antipiracy, from stemming climate change to ending nuclear proliferation.

And I’m proud to announce another new venue for cooperation: The United States will host a pavilion at the 2012 Yeosu World Expo in partnership with Philippe Cousteau, Jr. (Applause.) This pavilion would not be possible without the support of our partners and generous sponsors, so I want to thank everyone involved.

And finally, of course today we celebrate the passage of one of our most important joint achievements, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. (Applause.) This landmark agreement will spur economic growth in both our countries, bringing our nations even closer together. It is another clear example of the United States commitment to the Asia Pacific region. We are a resident military, diplomatic, and economic power and we are in Asia to stay. (Applause.)

And now it is my great pleasure to introduce a stalwart advocate of the relationship between our two countries and an eloquent spokesperson for the importance of building strong ties, Vice President Biden. (Applause.)

PRN: 2011/1718