OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON
MARCH 17, 2021
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and the Republic of Korea Minister for Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong reaffirmed the vital importance of the U.S.-ROK Alliance as the linchpin of peace, security, and prosperity in Northeast Asia, in a free and open Indo-Pacific, and across the world. During their March 17 meeting, Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Chung agreed on the need to expand our bilateral coordination and regional and global engagement.
Bilateral Policy Dialogue
The United States and the ROK will initiate a Deputy Assistant Secretary/Director-General-level dialogue to discuss strategic issues in the bilateral relationship. This Department of State-Ministry of Foreign Affairs dialogue will expand diplomatic coordination on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues. Along with our ongoing Dialogue on the Indo-Pacific and the U.S.-ROK Senior Economic Dialogue, the U.S.-ROK Bilateral Policy Dialogue will be another important diplomatic tool to achieve tangible results for the American and Korean people.
Special Measures Agreement
On March 18, the United States and the ROK initialed the draft text for the 11th U.S.-ROK Special Measures Agreement (SMA). Upon conclusion and entry into force, this multi-year agreement on defense burden sharing is expected to strengthen our Alliance and combined defense posture and is the result of sincere efforts by both sides to ensure our Alliance remains mutually beneficial, enhances our ability to prevent and deter aggression, and advances our shared goals of peace, security, and prosperity.
U.S.-ROK Foreign and Defense Ministerial Joint Statement
The United States and the ROK committed to common regional and global objectives during the March 18 Joint Ministerial. Secretaries Blinken and Austin joined their ROK counterparts to issue a shared vision of the importance of the U.S.-ROK Alliance, strengthening deterrence, and achieving our shared objectives in the 21st Century.
The United States and the ROK reaffirmed the importance of continuing to strengthen the U.S.-ROK economic relationship, as a key pillar of the bilateral relationship. Building on existing cooperation under the U.S.-ROK Senior Economic Dialogue, both sides seek to enhance bilateral, regional, and global economic cooperation, including in the areas of enhancing supply chain resilience, promoting and protecting emerging and critical technologies, and fostering post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
Through our ongoing dialogues on the Indo-Pacific, and in coordination with the ROK New Southern Policy, the United States and the ROK expect to meet our shared climate change goals, as well as expand our coordination on health security, cyber capacity building, energy security, space, democracy initiatives, and other shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific region. Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Chung will leverage our dialogues on the Indo-Pacific to expand regional coordination on law enforcement, maritime security, and cyber capacity building with the Pacific Island Countries and the Mekong sub-region through the Friends of the Mekong.
The United States and the ROK commit to enhancing cooperation on climate ambition and decarbonization. The two sides will work towards achieving their net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and ambitious 2030 targets aligned with achieving these 2050 goals. The ROK and the United States also intend to expand cooperation on sustainable smart cities through the U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership and the ROK’s smart cities programs.