U.S., S. Korea Agree to
Move Alliance Forward

Also commit to restarting nuclear talks

The recent Korea-U.S. summit talks have allayed misgivings among the Korean public that the United States? transfer of wartime command control to Korea may undermine security on the Korean Peninsula.
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and President George W. Bush at the White House agreed to move the Korea-U.S. alliance forward towards a more comprehensive and future-oriented one during their summit talks held at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington D.C. on Sept. 14 (local time).
They reaffirmed the principle of the peaceful and diplomatic resolution of the North Korean nuclear program and agreed to continue to cooperate closely to help resume the six-party talks as early as possible.
At the working luncheon following the meeting, the two leaders discussed the pending bilateral issues, including the Korea-U.S. FTA negotiations currently underway and the inclusion of Korea in the U.S. visa waiver program. The two leaders also exchanged views on the political climate surrounding Northeast Asia, including Korea-Japan relations.
This summit was the sixth between the two leaders since President Roh took office.
Earlier, President Roh met with the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in the morning of Sept. 13 at Blair House, the official guesthouse of the President of the United States. They exchanged views on the ROK-U.S. alliance, the North Korean nuclear issue, and the situations developing in Northeast Asia.
Emphasizing that the ROK-U.S. alliance, which both countries have maintained and fostered into a strong tie, is the bedrock of security on the Korean Peninsula, the Korean President stressed that the Participatory Government, in particular, has witnessed the successful resolution of major pending issues that existed between the two countries and their flawless implementation. The Korean head of state also relayed to Secretary Rice the significance of her role in successfully resolving remaining pending issues and forging ahead with future-oriented ROK-U.S relations.
President Roh and Secretary Rice reaffirmed the importance of placing priority on North Korean nuclear issues and resolving them diplomatically and peacefully. They also shared a common understanding of the need for close coordination between the two countries to resume the Six-Party Talks and break the logjam over North Korean nuclear issues.
President Roh also met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson at the Blair House in the afternoon of the same day and exchanged views on the prospects for the development of bilateral economic ties, including the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) and the reform plans for the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Noting that the KORUS FTA would not only bring economic benefits to both countries but also provide an opportunity to raise bilateral relations to the next level, President Roh called on the role of Secretary Paulson in coming up with the negotiation results that would satisfy both nations.
President Roh and Secretary Paulson valued the close economic collaboration between the two countries in the international arena on such issues as IMF reform and financial cooperation with the ASEAN+3 countries (Korea, China and Japan). They also shared an understanding that such collaboration needs to be continued and expanded in the future. nw


Korean President Roh Moo-hyun shakes hands with U.S. President George W. Bush prior to their summit talks at the White House in Washington D.C. on Sept. 14.

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