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KOR

Press Releases

The 204th ROK-U.S. Joint Committee of the Status of Forces Agreement (Joint Press Release)

Date
2023-11-20
hit
2944

The Republic of Korea and the United States of America held the 204th ROK-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement Joint Committee (hereinafter referred to as “Joint Committee”) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul on the afternoon of Monday, 20 November 2023.  Director-General for North American Affairs Kim Junpyo of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs led the ROK delegation while USFK Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Scott Pleus led the U.S. delegation. The two sides noted that, as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the ROK-U.S. Alliance, the bilateral relationship between the two countries is at its highest level with the recent state visit of the ROK President to the U.S.

 

The Joint Committee agreed that various civil-military projects were successfully executed this year with the participation of the Korean people and USFK.  Both sides agreed that the projects served as a strong bridge connecting the people of the two countries and solidifying the ROK-U.S. Alliance.

 

In particular, the two sides noted efforts of the SOFA Civil-Military Relations Subcommittee, which has been held consistently every year since 2019 despite COVID-19, and the new projects the subcommittee launched this year such as “USFK Radio Broadcast” and “ROK-U.S. Alliance and Civil-Military Relations Awareness Survey for Young Generation (2030)” proceeded smoothly via close collaboration between the two sides. Both sides agreed to continue generating new projects that can strengthen friendship between the Korean people and USFK in the future through close communication.

 

The Joint Committee also recognized the need for ROK-U.S. collaboration on illegal drug awareness and prevention. The U.S. expressed its gratitude to the ROK for producing and sharing an educational video on ROK domestic drug-related laws and regulations. Both sides acknowledged SOFA-level consultations which led to the first revision of the “Military Postal ROK Customs Inspection Procedures for USFK” since 1991.

 

Meanwhile, the ROK and the U.S. agreed to continue close consultations to expedite relocation and return of U.S. military bases in Korea, including Yongsan Garrison, thereby making efforts to strengthen the ROK-U.S. combined defense posture and at the same time to bring more benefits for the Korean people.  In this regard, both sides also agreed to continue consultations related to environmental issues.

 

The Joint Committee noted that the efforts of the SOFA Joint Committee have proven to be a vital component of a robust ROK-U.S. Alliance and agreed to continue to closely discuss issues related to the ROK-U.S. SOFA.  /END/