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Today, President Obama welcomed President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea to the White House to mark 60 years of bilateral partnership between our two nations.
Established following the Korean War, the US-ROK Alliance is a linchpin of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in the Asia Pacific region. And today, the two leaders affirmed that they would continue building on the past six decades of stability by strengthening and adapting the alliance to meet the security challenges of the 21st century.
“Guided by our joint vision, we’re investing in the shared capabilities and technologies and missile defenses that allow our forces to operate and succeed together,” President Obama said. “And we’re determined to be fully prepared for any challenge or threat to our security.”
President Obama and President Park also agreed to continue implementing the historic trade agreement between the United States and South Korea, which is already yielding benefits for both countries, President Obama said.
“On our side, we’re selling more exports to Korea -- more manufactured goods, more services, more agricultural products,” he said. “Even as we have a long way to go, our automobile exports are up nearly 50 percent, and our Big Three -- Ford, Chrysler and GM -- are selling more cars in Korea.
The agreement is expected to boost U.S. exports by some $10 billion and support tens of thousands of American jobs, in addition to creating jobs in Korea, President Obama said.
President Obama thanked President Park, who is South Korea’s first female president, for choosing the United States for her first foreign trip. This visit “reflects South Korea’s extraordinary progress over these six decades,” President Obama said, from “the ashes of war, to one of the world’s largest economies; from a recipient of foreign aid to a donor that now helps other nations develop.”
In your inaugural address you celebrated the “can do” spirit of the Korean people. That is a spirit that we share. And after our meeting today, I’m confident that if our two nations continue to stand together, there’s nothing we cannot do together.