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KOR

Minister

[Former] Congratulatory Remarks by H.E. Park Jin Korea-America Friendship Night

Date
2023-12-05
Hit
10737


Congratulatory Remarks by H.E. Park Jin

Korea-America Friendship Night

5 December, 2023


Good evening everyone!

I am Park Jin, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea.


Chairman 최중경 of the Korea-America Association,


Ambassador Philip Goldberg,

General Paul LaCamera,


Chairman 손경식 of the Korea Enterprises Federation,


Chairman James Kim of AMCHAM Korea,


Friends of the ROK-US Alliance,


Ladies and gentlemen,


I am delighted to be able to speak at this wonderful occasion - the Korea-America Friendship Night.


Although I am unable to join you in person, I can assure you that this event has a very special place in my heart.


As someone who served as chairman of the Korea-America Association for some three years, 

I know very well how much the Association has contributed to strengthening our bonds of friendship and mutual understanding.


And just as this is a commemorative year for the Korea-US Alliance, it is also the 60th anniversary of the Korea-America Association.


So I wish to start off by offering my heartfelt congratulations on the Association’s 환갑, 60th birthday.


And I extend my sincere appreciation for its longstanding service in deepening our friendship.



Ladies and Gentlemen,


Throughout 2023, we have been celebrating the 70th anniversary of the ROK-US Alliance – our platinum jubilee.


Seventy years ago, Korea was an impoverished, war-torn country with a per capita income of less than 70 dollars.


Today, Korea stands as an economic and technological powerhouse, one of Asia’s leading democracies, and a soft-power magnet.


This remarkable journey would not have been possible in the absence of the ROK-US Alliance.


And the 70th anniversary has provided an opportune time of remembrance about the birth of our Alliance.


This much is clear : there was nothing preordained about the Korea-US Alliance.


President Syngman Rhee and President Dwight Eisenhower managed to agree to the Mutual Defense Treaty in 1953 after difficult negotiations.     


Indeed, the Alliance has been built, nurtured and sustained by leaders and countless individuals from both countries who worked tirelessly on its behalf.


One such figure is General Joseph P. Cleland, the recipient of this year’s Korea-America Friendship Award.


General Cleland’s legacy is not only a reminder of how the blood-forged friendship between our two countries helped to defend Korea militarily.


It is also a human story of an individual who sought to help lift up Korean society from the ashes of the Korean War.


In the midst of the War in 1952, General Cleland and the US Army’s “Sunshine” Division founded the Kenneth Kaiser Middle and High School in 가평.



Over the ensuing decades, more than fifteen thousand students would graduate from the school and go on to pursue their dreams.


I take this opportunity to pay tribute to General Cleland and all the veterans who fought in the Korean War.



Ladies and gentlemen,


This year, President Yoon Suk Yeol and President Joe Biden together wrote a historic new chapter for our Alliance, 

taking our partnership to new heights.


During President Yoon’s state visit to the United States in April, they modernized our Alliance in ways that would better support our security and prosperity over the next seventy years.


The Washington Declaration and the Nuclear Consultative Group upgraded deterrence cooperation to a whole new level.


The scope of our partnership has been broadened to include economic security and cutting-edge technologies as well as cooperation in cyberspace and outer space.


Korea and the United States also reaffirmed that our Alliance is built on the shared universal values of freedom, democracy, rule of law and human rights.


Our joint commitment to upholding the rules-based international order paved the way for enhanced cooperation with likeminded partners like Japan.



Ladies and gentlemen,


President Woodrow Wilson once said,

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.”


The Korea-America Association has been instrumental in nurturing the friendships that hold our Alliance together.  


I have every confidence that it will continue to help nurture friendships that last through the generations.  


Congratulations once again, and I wish you all a memorable evening.


We go together!  같이 갑시다!