Vice President’s Ceremonial Office

10:11 A.M. EDT
 
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  It is my honor to meet you, Mr. President.  And I enjoyed very much our conversation before we came in this room.
 
At a time when our world faces increasing threats to our health, security, and climate, it is more important than ever that the United States and the Republic of Korea work closely together. 
 
We are connected through our shared democratic and economic values, as well as through friendships, family, culture, and history.  In fact, the largest Korean diaspora outside of the — outside of Asia — I think outside of Korea, actually, is where I live, in Los Angeles, California. 
 
And across our nation, Korean Americans are leaders in medicine, academics, entertainment, business, and politics. 
 
Globally, our alliance is critical to peace, security, and prosperity in Northeast Asia, the Indo-Pacific, and around the world. 
 
President Joe Biden and I are confident that together we can promote a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, a region that is unconstrained by coercion and anchored in international rules and order.
 
Today, we will discuss a broad range of issues, including our strong partnership, as well as the challenges that exist on the Korean Peninsula. 
 
And, Mr. President, again, I am honored to meet with you.  Thank you for this visit, and I look forward to our discussion. 
 
PRESIDENT MOON:  (As interpreted.)  Madam Vice President, thank you for the warm hospitality, and thank you for all of those beautiful words.  
 
     You have devoted your life to promoting democracy and enhancing human rights of minority groups — women, people of color, and the underprivileged. 
 
     I remember around the time you were inaugurated, many women across the United States participated in the “Wear Pearls on January 20th” social media campaign, which was very impressive.  I believe it was their way to show affection and support to you who have fought against invisible discrimination at the forefront and broken the glass ceiling.
 
     And my congratulations on how the Biden-Harris administration is building back better with the world’s most successful vaccine deployment and fastest economic recovery, and blazing a trail for inclusiveness and unity by restoring the soul of America.
 
     And the same soul of America is found in the history of the ROK-U.S. Alliance — an alliance forged in blood 70 years ago to fight for freedom and democracy together.
 
     Korea, as a responsible ally that shares its core values with the United States, will always stand by America on its journey of recovering from COVID-19 crisis and defending liberal democratic international order.  We support America’s ambitious climate action.  We’ll coordinate with the U.S. with no daylight to achieve complete denuclearization and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. 
 
     In the face of seismic changes of the post-COVID era, I hope our two countries will closely work with each other to move forward together.
 
     VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Thank you.
 
                               END                 10:18 A.M. EDT
 

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