Remarks With Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye At Their Meeting
Secretary of State
PRESIDENT PARK: (Via interpreter) I’m delighted to meet and see you again, Mr. Secretary after having last met back in April. And I recall your kind letter during my visit to the United States, when you were not able to be present due to certain circumstances. And President Obama was not able to attend this year’s meetings on account of inescapable factors. Please do pass on my best regards upon your return to the United States.
I’m also delighted to note that we have been able to issue a statement that in many (inaudible) significant during my visit to the United States and in the aftermath of my meeting with President Obama. And following that meeting, we have been able to see our partnership evolve further into a comprehensive strategic alliance. And I also feel it’s very meaningful that we have been steadily implementing, one by one, the items that we agreed to during that meeting, for instance, the revision to the nuclear energy cooperation agreement between our two countries as well as other major issues as well in the spirit of our alliance. And I look forward to continuing to do that in the spirit of our alliance.
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you. Thank you very much, Madam President. As you said, the alliance is both strong and the alliance is extremely important to us, and we’re very grateful to you for the cooperation.
And again, I am sorry that I wasn’t present for the meeting. But I know you had a very successful meeting. And Secretary Hagel, who I was with just the other day, tells me he had a very successful security consultative meeting in Seoul. And the success of the Republic of Korea is really quite remarkable, and we are very grateful for the significant role that you are currently playing on the global stage, and particularly our cooperation with respect to North Korea.
Obviously nobody faces the challenge of North Korea more than you do. (Laughter.) And we applaud your very measured and careful approach by which you’ve both been firm, but at the same time you’ve tried to reach out. My hope is, Madam President, that with the conversations we’ve had with the Chinese here – and I’m sure you share this – that we’re all on the same page and in a place where denuclearization and serious steps to move towards it are the key, and that has to define our policy.