Remarks by Vice President Harris and Prime Minister Han Duck-soo of the Republic of Korea Before Bilateral Meeting | Tokyo, Japan

By: White House: Office of the Vice President

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Good morning.  Mr. Prime Minister, good morning.  I look forward to our conversation and, of course, as we mentioned, my trip to Seoul in just two days.  This is on the heels of the important conversation and a fruitful conversation that President Biden had with President Yoon, where he discussed, as you and I will discuss, America’s continuous and (inaudible) commitment to the Republic of Korea and to your safety and security. 

The United States alliance with the Republic of Korea is the linchpin of security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.  We take that relationship seriously and we stand with you in the face of threats, knowing that we are aligned on so many issues.  We have a shared history, and we have a lot of work yet to do together to strengthen that relationship. 

I look forward to discussing with you, for example, the work that we are doing as it relates to our investment in innovation and technology; the work we are doing in space; and then, of course, your leadership, in particular, on the climate crisis.  I look forward to talking with you about the ambitious goals that you have set based on your personal, I believe, commitment to addressing that issue and to the Republic of Korea’s leadership globally on that very issue.

So it is good to meet with you, and I’m looking forward to our conversation.

PRIME MINISTER HAN:  Thank you, Madam Vice President.  I and my delegation are really very happy and honored to meet you and your delegation here in Tokyo.  And we are looking forward to welcoming you in Seoul in two days.  And our government and the Korean people are very much looking forward to seeing you in person in Korea. 

And I think your visit to DMZ in Seoul is a real — a very symbolic demonstration of your strong commitment to the security and peace on the Korean Peninsula.  And we are working with you and U.S. in dealing with North Korea when they actually made very public that they will be aggressive in using nuclear power.  So, you know, it was very rare that some country is actually making explicit how they will use nuclear — you know, nuclear ambitions in such an explicit way.

So, we should really go into real cooperation and work together in making a really effective deterrence to the possible provocations of the North Koreans.

And our overall relations are very comprehensive now with your President’s — President Biden’s visit to Korea in May.

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Yes.  Yeah. 

PRIME MINISTER HAN:  And not only we are steadfast on, you know, military alliance, we are going into more economic and technological alliances.  And we are moving forward into the world to work — to work in — to work together in committing ourselves to protect some of the basic common values of the global nature, including democracy and human rights and market economy.

So, I think that our strong commitments to the global principles with a very strong collaborative cooperations with — between the United States and Korea will really help and support where the global community should go when there’s a lot of the challenges now occurring everywhere, including, as you said, climate change and pandemics and some of the forces to change the status quo by force.

So, in the future — you know, in addition to what we did together, in the future there are many more things that we can work together.  And in that sense, we are very pleased to see you to have some discussions on a lot of issues — although we cannot complete all our discussions right at this moment, but we can continue in Korea and in Seoul. 

Thank you very much.

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

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