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[Incumbent] 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


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 허창수,

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,

Distinguished Guests,

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 

the Indo-Pacific.

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 

global standards.

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, 

among others.

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 

quantum computing.

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 

the world.

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/