The White House

Office of the Vice President

Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden and Republic of Korea President Park Geun-Hye in a Bilateral Meeting

Blue House
Seoul, Republic of Korea

11:45 A.M. (Local)

PRESIDENT PARK:  (As interpreted) Mr. Vice President, I sincerely welcome you to Korea.

And indeed, your visit to Korea marks the first of its kind in 10 years by a U.S. Vice President, and I believe that this visit to Korea adds further significance to the 60th anniversary of our alliance partnership that we mark this year.

At a time when we have recently been seeing growing volatility and tensions in Northeast Asia, one can say that it’s very helpful for certain -- in Northeast Asia to have a Vice President with such profound insights in foreign affairs travel to this region.

As we mark the 60th anniversary of our alliance partnership and look back over the last 60 years, we can -- say that the Korea-U.S. alliance has been serving as the lynchpin for stability and prosperity not only on the Korean Peninsula but also in Northeast Asia, and we hope to further build on the trust that we have built over the last six decades to further deepen our relationship and to take it forward, and may your visit, Mr. Vice President, offer a precious stepping stone in that direction.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Madam President, and your entire delegation, thank you.  It’s an honor for my colleagues and I to be able to be here with you today.

As I said to your colleagues, Madam President, in the other room, your visit to Washington had a profound effect upon the members of the United States Congress and the American people because you communicate with such sincerity the warmth and the affection you feel and your people feel for the United States.

As your ambassador to the United States knows, that same feeling exists in the United States toward Korea -- the Republic of Korea.

You were very gracious suggesting I have a profound insight for foreign policy.  It was vastly exaggerated.  But what is not exaggerated is my profound respect for the people of the Republic of Korea, my profound respect for what you have accomplished in the last 60 years.

In an incredibly well received speech you made to the joint session of the United States Congress, you talked about the last 60 years and the journey that we are on together the next 60 years; a journey not only on the peninsula, not only in Northeast Asia, but in the region and the world.

That's why I’m here, to talk about that journey.  We have much to talk about, and we have much to plan.  I want to make one thing absolutely clear.  President Obama’s decision to rebalance the Pacific Basin is not in question.  The United States never says anything it does not do.  Let me say that again.  The United States never says anything it does not do.

As I said in my visits thus far in the region, it has never been a good bet to bet against America.  It has never been a good bet to bet against America.  And America is going to continue to place its bet on South Korea.

Again, thank you for your warm welcome.  And I look forward to our discussions.

END  
12:02 P.M. (Local)

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