1. On June 2, First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam, in his capacity as acting Foreign Minister, held a working dinner with the US congressional delegation that included Chairman Ed Royce of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as well as Representatives Bill Flores and Ted Lieu. Over the dinner, the two sides exchanged views on the relations between the Republic of Korea and the United States as well as the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
2. Vice Minister Lim noted that the ROK-US relations, over the past 60 years after starting out as security alliance, have continuously evolved, including into an economic alliance, and are now being upgraded in terms of quality and scope as a comprehensive global partnership. He extended appreciation to the US Congress for playing a role in efforts to step up bilateral cooperation, including by rendering bipartisan support for bills and resolutions regarding the ROK. He asked for continued interest and support of the US Congress in that regard.
3. Chairman Ed Royce of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs expressed confidence in the value and significance of the ROK-US alliance as a cornerstone for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. He added that the visit of the US Representatives to the ROK will serve as an opportunity to reaffirm to the ROK people the solid support of the US Congress and people for the ROK-US alliance.
4. Vice Minister Lim extended appreciation to Chairman Royce for his leading role in the legislative process of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016. With regard to the designation by the US Department of the Treasury of North Korea as a jurisdiction of “primary money laundering concern” on June 2 in its first follow-up measure after the legislation of the Act, the Vice Minister commented that the US Congress and administration once again expressed to the international community their commitment to sanctioning North Korea and thereby sent a strong message to North Korea.
° In response, the US congressional delegation stated that the US Congress will thoroughly enforce the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 in an effort to pressure North Korea and improve the livelihoods of the North Korean people, and thereby make North Korea change for the better.
5. The visit of the US Representatives to the ROK, which came after the one by Dan Sullivan and other US Senators, is seen to have served as an opportunity to demonstrate strong, bipartisan and bicameral support from the Republican and Democratic Parties as well as the Senate and House of the Representatives of the US on the ROK-US alliance.
* unofficial translation