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This morning amidst a light rain, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed President Lee Myung-bak and First Lady Kim Yoon-ok of the Republic of Korea to the White House. During the Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn, President Obama spoke about the strength of the relationship between our two nations:
Today we celebrate an alliance rooted in the shared values of our people -- our service members who have fought and bled and died together for our freedom, our students and workers and entrepreneurs who work together to create opportunity and prosperity, and our families, bound by the generations, including many who are here today -- proud and patriotic Korean Americans.
President Lee, our two nations have stood together for more than 60 years. Over the past two years we’ve deepened our cooperation. Today, I'm proud to say that the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea is stronger than it has ever been.
President Lee Myung-bak also spoke of the historic friendship between the Korean people and Americans. Reflecting on visiting the Korean War Memorial yesterday to pay respects to the 37,000 American soldiers who lost their lives, he said:
It is written on a wall at that memorial that these American soldiers, “answer the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.” The simple yet poignant words describe how brace and good they were.
Mr. President, Madam First Lady, ladies and gentlemen, the Korean people have never forgotten what these fallen soldiers and their families gave up. We will always remain grateful to all of them.
Our alliance is the bedrock of stability, peace and progress, and our relationship is evolving. Our two countries are working together to fight disease and poverty, climate change and natural disasters. We are addressing the issues of energy security and eradicating terrorism and extremism, and stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Watch the video of the State Visit Arrival Ceremony: