After six decades of partnership, South Korea remains one of the United States’ closest allies and greatest friends.
After six decades of partnership, South Korea remains one of the United States’ closest allies and greatest friends. The friendship is based on common values including democracy, human rights, and rule of law, all of which are strengthened through people-to-people ties. “Our comprehensive partnership with the Republic of Korea,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, “is a significant example of the United States’ engagement in the Asia Pacific.”
Following a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Secretary Kerry reaffirmed that, “the United States and the Republic of Korea stand very firmly united, without an inch of daylight between us, not a sliver of daylight, on the subject of opposition to North Korea’s destabilizing nuclear and ballistic missile programs and proliferation activities.”
The United States and South Korea call on North Korea to start down the path of fulfilling its international obligation and commitments. Moreover, both countries call on North Korea to denuclearize and will not accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state. The United States remains fully committed to the defense of South Korea, including through extended deterrence and putting the full range of U.S. military capabilities in place.
The U.S. relationship with South Korea extends beyond military matters to include trade. The U.S.-Korea Free Trade agreement, which is almost two years old, has grown trade between both countries to $130 billion a year. The United States also welcomes South Korea’s interest in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which can be the foundation for high-standard trade and shared prosperity throughout the Pacific. TPP would create a trading agreement that would include 40 percent of global gross domestic product.
The United States and South Korea also cooperate on providing humanitarian aid, most recently to the typhoon devastated areas of the Philippines. In Iraq and Afghanistan, South Korea and the United States have stood side-by side. And there is no greater sign of the United States’ commitment to regional security than the 28,500 U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea.
“The relationship between our two nations,” said Secretary Kerry, “has always shown its ability to be able to adapt to face new challenges. And it is clear that the foundations of this relationship are built to endure.”