Excerpts from the Remarks by Chargé d’Affaires Marc Knapper at Korean-American Club Forum

The U.S.-ROK relationship has never been stronger.

At the core of our relationship is our treaty alliance.  For 65 years, the U.S.-ROK Alliance has served as a linchpin for security, stability, and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, in the Asia Pacific region and, increasingly, around the world.

There has been no shift in our North Korea policy.  We are willing to engage, but our purpose in any meeting will be to emphasize that complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is necessary and non-negotiable.

As we said in the joint announcement at the beginning of the talks toward a new Special Measures Agreement, “both delegations are committed to developing an agreement that strengthens the U.S.-ROK Alliance and ensures the security of the ROK and its people.”

No critical issue in this region can be addressed without the active involvement of both Korea and Japan.  Strong cooperation between Korea and Japan, and with the United States and others, is vital to creating a brighter, more secure future for the region and the world.

Agricultural trade has been a bright spot under KORUS, benefitting producers and consumers on both sides.

As our trade ministers said in their joint statement, the new agreement on KORUS “represents important progress in improving U.S.-Korea trade and economic relations, based on our strong and enduring security relationship.”  This lays the basis for a stronger relationship in the future.

Through our Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy, we are working with partners to set and bolster rules that promote open markets; freedom of the seas and skies; free, fair, and reciprocal trade; and private sector-led growth.  Korea can play a critical role in advancing this vision.

There are great opportunities for the United States and Korea to work together on global issues such as cybersecurity and global health.

People-to-people ties are the bedrock of our bilateral partnership.

President Trump and President Moon pledged to initiate a bilateral partnership to advance women’s economic empowerment.  Let us work together towards ensuring women have equal access to opportunity.