Speech by H.E. Park Jin
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea
34th Korea-U.S. Business Councils Plenary
October 20, 2022
Thank you, Vice President 권태신.
Chairman Octavio Simoes,
Ambassador Philip Goldberg,
Ambassador 조태용 who is joining us online,
The Honorable 양향자, Chair of the Special
Parliamentary Committee on Semiconductors,
Charles Freeman, Senior Vice President of the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce,
Members of the Korea-U.S. Business Council,
It is my great pleasure to meet you all
at today’s Korea-U.S. Business Councils Plenary.
I am greatly honored to deliver a Keynote Speech
as Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea.
This year marks the 34th anniversary
of the Korea-U.S. Business Councils.
The Council was established in 1988, the year of the Seoul
And has served as a key channel and facilitator
of the strong economic cooperation
between our two countries.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude
to all the business leaders in this room,
for playing the bridging role.
This meeting is very timely,
coming at a juncture at which together we face
a range of emerging economic security issues.
We are witnessing new challenges;
Two and a half years on,
COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our lives.
Supply chain restructuring
has been accelerated by the pandemic.
Russia’s armed invasion of Ukraine is fueling
Food and Energy crisis.
However, the IMF forecasted that “the worst is yet to
And that for many people next year will feel like a
The Economist magazine pointed out that “Global
inflation is in double digits for the first time in 40 years.”
Indeed, the world is in disarray.
And, now is the era of economic security – where
economy, security, and technology have been integrated.
What we have traditionally called trade or technology
issues are now treated as national security issues.
Countries are emphasizing reliability and stability,
updating industrial policies to meet new trade challenges.
The result is global efforts to build a resilient supply
chains, based on Just-in-case system
rather than Just-in-time method,
especially among partners who share common values.
Peter Drucker, a renowned management
consultant once said,
“The greatest danger in turbulent times is not turbulence,
but to act with yesterday’s logic"
Republic of Korea is seeking opportunity
in the midst of this turbulence,
and has set “pursuing active economic security
diplomacy” as one of its national policy tasks.
We are actively seeking to strengthen economic security
cooperation across the board, bilaterally and
Through this endeavor, Korea is also seeking to realize
the vision of a “Global Pivotal State,”
or GPS, as we call it. We have to know where we are and
have a sense of where we are going, along with our ally,
the United States.
Cooperation with the international community is essential
for realizing our GPS vision.
We are endeavoring to upgrade our ties of cooperation
with countries in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
Regarding Korea-Japan relations, we should move
toward a future-oriented partnership, instead of
prolonged stalemate, which is detrimental to both sides.
The Yoon administration is also committed to
strengthening Korea-U.S.-Japan trilateral cooperation in
the face of North Korea’s escalating
nuclear and missile threats.
I have been meeting Secretary Blinken of the United
States and Foreign Minister Hayashi of Japan on a
monthly basis to discuss how to deal with our common
We will also strengthen our cooperation with ASEAN
member states to contribute to peace and prosperity in
In addition to participating in the IPEF, we are
developing our own Indo-Pacific strategy to protect and
expand our national interests.
President 윤석열 was invited to NATO summits, as well
as to the AP4 Leader’s meeting, in Madrid, Spain, in
It was the first time that a Korean president was invited
to the NATO conference, the congregation of American
and European heads of state to pursue a collective
We will also foster tailored cooperation with other
regions as well.
We will work with China, our largest trade partner,
to expand our cooperation on health, climate change,
and the environment.
Our most important partner
in these turbulent times is the United States.
Members of the Councils and Distinguished Guests,
This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary
of the Korea-U.S. FTA, or KORUS FTA.
Based on the robust ROK-U.S. alliance,
the free trade agreement has served
to deepen our relations over the last decade.
At the time of its initial congressional ratification,
I was serving as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs,
Trade and Unification Committee
of the Korean National Assembly.
I remember that the opposition Party
fiercely opposed the KORUS FTA, at the time.
The negative argument was that Korea would become
an economic appendix to the US,
through the market opening if the KORUS FTA were to
pass in the parliament.
I strongly advocated for the agreement in firm belief that
it would contribute positively to promoting the mutual
interests of both countries, by serving as a win-win
In retrospect, over the last ten years, overall trade volume
across the Pacific has increased by 70%,
and investment in both ways have more than doubled.
The KORUS FTA stands as a successful model of the
Leading Korean conglomerates like Samsung and
Hyundai are heavily investing in the U.S., and
contributing to the job creation based on KORUS FTA.
In May this year, the two Leaders, President 윤석열
and President Joe Biden met in Seoul,
Two leaders affirmed that our alliance had evolved
into a Global Comprehensive Strategic Alliance,
and also as an economic security and technological
from a traditional military alliance.
We have established an Economic Security Dialogue,
serving as a hotline between our NSCs;
Together we are collaborating to build
resilient supply chains, for chips, batteries and minerals,
We are partnering in global initiatives like Mineral
Security Partnership and Global Supply Chain Forum;
I personally attended the MSP Ministerial Meeting
last month in New York,
which was presided by Secretary Tony Blinken.
We are strengthening cooperation in emerging and
cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence,
nuclear energy, space exploration, biotechnology, and
We are working to set new rules and norms
in the Indo-Pacific through IPEF,
a new platform we have launched together
to stabilize the supply chains in the region.
Let me take a breath.
I can go on all day citing
all of the ongoing efforts by our two governments.
What I want to emphasize is that
based on shared values and deep trust in one another,
we are practically joined at the hip
in facing the future challenges together.
John F. Kennedy,
the former president of the US, once remarked,
“Partnership is not a posture but a process –
a continuous process that grows stronger each year
as we devote ourselves to common tasks.”
The current efforts by the governments
and the private sectors will, I have no doubt,
empower both of our nations’ economies and enrich our
Recently, the U.S. Congress passed
the Inflation Reduction Act, as you all know.
I sincerely hope that the IRA
help achieve its policy objectives,
which are to respond to climate crisis, clean energy
transition, and to support the middle class in the United
There is, however, a major concern, from the Korean
It is about the discriminatory elements in the electric
vehicle tax scheme, that brings negative impacts on our
EV makers, who are manufacturing cars outside the
North American market.
The electric vehicle tax credit scheme only benefits EVs
assembled within North America, so other EV companies
cannot receive the maximum subsidy of $7,500.
Hyundai Motor, with its large-scale electric vehicle
investment plans in the US, is no exception.
These discriminatory elements of the IRA are not
compatible with the Korea-U.S. FTA and WTO rules.
Based on a shared commitment to find a solution, the two
governments have opened a unique consultation channel,
and are actively engaged in discussions under the
cooperative spirit of ROK-US alliance and KORUS FTA.
This process of consultation and cooperation is what
makes our alliance trustworthy, and more robust than
Next year, our alliance turns 70.
In light of modern history, it is very exceptional to see an
alliance that old.
Based on the staunch alliance built on core values of
democracy, free market, human rights and rule of law,
Korea has achieved remarkable political, economic, social
and cultural development, during the last seven decades,
together with the U.S.
Korea has now joined the ranks of advanced countries.
Korea is the only OECD country since World War II
that has transitioned from an aid recipient to an aid
And the country has now become an economic
powerhouse with significant science technology, supplying
advanced semiconductors and batteries to other
Did you know the following facts?
Korea ranks as the 10th largest economy in the world
9th in energy consumption,
8th in defense exports,
7th in global trade volume,
and space exploration technology,
6th in nuclear power, and military strength,
5th in car manufacturing and EV technology,
4th in internet penetration rate,
3rd in manufacturing competitiveness,
2nd in R&D expenditure per GDP,
and 1st in the use of industrial robots,
as well as the Bloomberg innovation index.
Korea now stands shoulder to shoulder
with the G7 countries.
In fact, I think it is one of the 8th strongest economies in
In light of our enhanced global standing,
We are hoping to play more visible and responsible role,
especially in advancing freedom, peace, and prosperity in
the Indo-Pacific region and the international community.
This transformation would not have happened without
the diligence of the Korean people, investment in
and, of course, the thriving ROK-US alliance.
Korea’s remarkable success story is not only the triumph
of the ROK-US alliance, but also the shining achievement
of our democracy.
Just as we have done over the past 70 years, Korea and
the U.S. will continue to march into this great transition
to the future, knowing that we have each other’s back.
I look to you, the members of the Councils, to play a
constructive and instrumental role in the development
and cultivation of the renewed Korea-U.S. partnership for
the next 70 years.
I am confident that, in turn, the strengthened alliance will
serve to generate renewed impetus for the much valued
prosperity through business activities between our two
countries. Thank you. /END/