the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Remarks by President Obama and President Lee of the Republic of Korea before Bilateral Meeting

November 19, 2009

11:15 A.M. KST

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, Mr. President -- I was telling the President, and I think the delegation would agree, that this was the most spectacular ceremony for a state visit that we've been involved with since we've traveled.

And I was saying that I especially enjoyed the traditional dress of some of the soldiers.

PRESIDENT LEE:  (As translated.)  But traditional uniforms are quite difficult to fight in.  (Laughter.) 

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  That's true, that's true.

PRESIDENT LEE:  Well, first of all, Mr. President, welcome.  And you're bringing very nice weather with you, because up until yesterday it was sub-zeros, frigid cold.  (Laughter.)

Well, once again, Mr. President, welcome to the Asian region, and, of course, welcome to Korea.  I know that your visit to Japan and China has been very successful.

And Mr. President, as we all like to say, you saved the best for last.  (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, Mr. President, let me just say that we have been so gratified by the warmth with which we've been received here in the Republic of Korea.

And I think there's every indication that the alliance between our two countries has never been stronger.

11:17 A.M. KST