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KOR

Press Releases

First Vice Minister Cho Tae-yong Hosts Luncheon for US Governor of Washington Jay Inslee

Date
2015-08-31 00:00:00
hit
1505

1. On August 31, First Vice Minister Cho Tae-yong, in his capacity as acting Foreign Minister, hosted a luncheon for US Governor of Washington Jay Inslee and his delegation, who are visiting the Republic of Korea under the Foreign Ministry’s invitation program for figures from US state governments and legislatures. The two sides exchanged views on a range of issues, including ways to enhance cooperation between the ROK and the state of Washington, North Korea and its nuclear issue, and climate change response.

2. In his luncheon remarks, Vice Minister Cho said that the First Corps of the US, which played a key role during the Korean War, is located in the state of Washington, and the state has the third largest Korean population in the US. The Vice Minister also said that the ROK is Washington’s fourth largest trading partner, and exchanges and cooperation between the two sides have further expanded since the KORUS FTA took effect. Vice Minister Cho expected that Governor Inslee’s latest visit to the ROK will become a new momentum for strengthening relations between the ROK and Washington.

o Governor Inslee expressed appreciation to Vice Minister Cho for hosting a luncheon for his delegation. He said that through his visit, he intends to strengthen cooperation with the ROK in various areas, including export of agricultural products, such as blueberries, potatoes, and wine, as well as the high-tech sector, such as ICT and biotechnology.

3. Vice Minister Cho explained the recent situation related to North Korea, and said that the ROK and the US have firmly responded to North Korea’s provocations and threats based on strong allied defense capabilities, and have also closely cooperated on the North Korean nuclear issue, adding that cooperation with China regarding this issue has also been strengthened.

o Vice Minister Cho also said that while bearing the huge costs incurred by the division of the Korean Peninsula, the ROK government is focusing efforts on unification, with this year marking the 70th anniversary of the division of the Korean Peninsula. He said that unification will contribute to development and prosperity not only on the Korean Peninsula, but also in neighboring countries.

4. Meanwhile, Vice Minister Cho explained that as part of efforts to respond to climate change, the ROK government submitted its greenhouse gas reduction target, higher than the previous commitment it had made to the international community, despite domestic difficulties, and the government is also making concrete efforts, including implementation of carbon emissions trading system. The Vice Minister expressed hope that a new climate regime will be successfully launched at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will be held at the end of this year.

o Governor Inslee noted with appreciation the ROK government’s contribution to climate change response, and said that as can be seen in the recent wildfire in Washington, which was caused by droughts and higher temperatures brought on by climate change, climate change is a problem for all of us. Governor Inslee expressed hope that cooperation in climate change response will be further strengthened, considering that climate change is a challenge on the one hand, but that it also provides economic opportunities on the other hand.


*unofficial translation