This year marks 70 years since the United States and South Korea signed their Mutual Defense Treaty. The relationship “has grown from a key security alliance into a vital global partnership, one that's broadening in scope and significance seemingly every day,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“We have been strengthening all aspects of our partnership, starting with our security,” said Secretary Blinken:
“That commitment to mutual defense is ironclad. And that starts with extended deterrence, particularly in the face of the DPRK’s provocative actions, including its missile launches, which … violate multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and undermine stability on the peninsula and beyond.”
In August, President Joe Biden hosted South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for a historic Camp David summit where they discussed how to strengthen cooperation on a range of shared priorities, said Secretary Blinken:
“The leaders emphasized their shared commitment to a rules based order that includes freedom of navigation, peaceful resolution of disputes. They also reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as an indispensable element of security and prosperity for the entire international community.”
The United States and South Korea are also intensifying their economic partnership, said Secretary Blinken:
“Since the KORUS Free Trade Agreement was approved, bilateral trade has surged dramatically over the last two years alone. Korean companies have invested more than $100 billion in the United States. Driving innovation, creating good jobs for Americans and Korean workers alike.”
“Finally, we're putting our partnership to work in driving peace and security around the world,” said Secretary Blinken:
“That includes in Ukraine, where Korea, under President Yoon, has been a valued partner in supporting Kiev in the face of Russia's brutal war and in its defense of principles at the heart of the international order and the United Nations Charter. Sovereignty. Territorial independence. Freedom.”
As a result of the war in Ukraine, the transatlantic and Indo-Pacific are closer than ever before, said Secretary Blinken. Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are now regular participants in NATO meetings.
The United States looks forward to continuing to strengthen the US-South Korea partnership in the years ahead.