The President of South Korea Addresses US Congress

On the last day of his state visit to the US, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol addressed the US Congress on Thursday. Seventy years of the US-South Korea partnership have passed since the visit. Yoon is the ninth president of South Korea to address the legislature. Yoon talked about the shared history between the two nations. He discussed how, throughout the Korean War, “the U.S. did not look the other way” and instead backed the South Korean people. Yoon mentioned that 37,000 American soldiers died in that conflict. The president of South Korea also discussed and complimented the two countries’ Mutual Defense Treaty and ongoing relationship.

According to Yoon, “bilateral trade has increased 68 percent” since the U.S. Congress adopted a free trade deal with Korea in 2011. South Korean investment in the U.S. has tripled throughout that period, while U.S. investment in South Korea has doubled. Yoon contended that the union had brought prosperity and peace to both sides. Yoon now declared: “Korea would work with the United States to serve as a “compass for freedom” for people all around the world. He contrasted such positive attributes with a government that has, in his words, gone down “the wrong path.” He claimed that North Korea posed a threat to international peace due to its nuclear and missile programs. Yoon called for Japan, the United States, and his nation to work together more quickly to confront the North Korean nuclear threat.

Yoon concluded by complimenting Korea’s economic trade and high-tech collaboration with the United States. Yoon and President Joe Biden met on Wednesday to talk about a number of topics. These include the North Korean military threat, potential economic cooperation between the two countries, and strategies for handling China’s growing influence. There was also discussion of other topics. The Washington Declaration was released by both parties prior to those negotiations. South Korea committed to refraining from developing its own nuclear weapons program as part of this pact. In exchange, should a North Korean nuclear attack occur, South Korea will have a larger say in decision-making about American contingency planning. The U.S. also vowed a more strong presence in the area.

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