President Biden of the United States welcomed President Yoon of the Republic of Korea (ROK) on April 26, 2023, for a State Visit to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-ROK Alliance. The two presidents reaffirmed their ironclad commitment to what has become a global alliance focused on deepening defense and security ties, expanding economic, commercial, and environmental cooperation, increasing digital and technology collaboration—including in the space sector—and broadening development assistance, educational exchanges, and people-to-people ties. This fact sheet provides an overview of political understandings that were affirmed or reaffirmed during the State Visit, as well as plans for further cooperative activities between the United States and the ROK.
DEFENSE AND GLOBAL SECURITY COOPERATION
President Biden and President Yoon affirmed their strong, shared commitment to the defense of the people and territories of the United States and the ROK, including through deepening extended deterrence.
- Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG): The United States and the ROK launched an NCG to discuss how to plan for nuclear contingencies and cooperate on the Alliance’s approach to nuclear deterrence, given the growing threat posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The NCG will convene at the assistant secretary level.
- Strengthening the International Nonproliferation Regime: The United States and the ROK reaffirmed their enduring commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as the cornerstone for the international nonproliferation regime and the foundation for nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses.
- More Visible U.S. Strategic Asset Deployments: The United States committed to enhancing the deployment of U.S. strategic assets in and around the Korean Peninsula, in particular U.S. nuclear-capable platforms. The Alliance is also expanding the scope and scale of joint exercises and maintaining regular, senior-level defense engagements and dialogues to contend with regional threats.
- Closely Connecting ROK Capabilities with Combined Forces Command: The United States and the ROK are working to increase interconnectedness between the ROK’s new and improving strategic capabilities and the Alliance’s combined force structure to enhance joint planning and execution efforts.
- ROK Education and Training on Nuclear Deterrence: To enhance ROK preparedness for nuclear threat scenarios, the United States welcomes participation by ROK military personnel in Department of Defense courses and trainings, which will focus on how the Alliance approaches nuclear deterrence on the Korean Peninsula, including through conventional-nuclear integration.
- New Table-Top Exercise and Simulation: As we improve our ability to plan for and respond to regional threats, the United States and the ROK have developed a new annual interagency and intergovernmental simulation and a separate table-top exercise with U.S. Strategic Command. These will augment similar activities already established in our bilateral engagements.
- Increasing Participation in Defense Exercises: To ensure force readiness and strengthen our joint force posture, the United States and the ROK are expanding field training exercises, including ULCHI FREEDOM SHIELD and WARRIOR SHIELD, to restore a realistic, theater-level combined exercise system. The ROK plans to join trilateral exercises with the United States and Japan as well as multilateral exercises.
- Enhancing Regional Cooperation on Maritime Security and Defense: Regional security cooperation is critical to achieving peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. The United States and the ROK will use the Regional Cooperation Working Group (RCWG) to enhance lines of effort that increase maritime domain awareness and defense cooperation with other Indo-Pacific partners.
ECONOMIC, COMMERCIAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATION
The United States and the ROK have forged enduring economic ties that reinforce every aspect of our Alliance, from mutual prosperity to commercial investment and from environmental cooperation to stronger cultural connections. President Biden and President Yoon affirmed that the United States and the ROK are committed to advancing economic, commercial, and environmental cooperation.
- Major ROK and U.S. Investments in Critical Sectors: ROK companies have announced more than $100 billion in new investments in the United States since the beginning of the Biden Administration, which will create over 40,000 new jobs in America; the top destination of ROK investment from 2021 to date is the United States. The United States is the second leading investor in the ROK. These historic investments are increasing our cooperation in areas such as semiconductors, electric vehicles, batteries, biotechnology, clean energy, and creative content.
- Hyundai Motor Group’s $5.4 billion electric vehicle plant in Bryan, Georgia, is under construction and will create 8,100 jobs.
- SK Innovation is working with Ford to invest $11.4 billion on two electric battery parks under construction in Glendale, Kentucky, and Stanton, Tennessee, that will create 11,000 jobs.
- Samsung Electronics semiconductor manufacturing facility in Taylor, Texas, is under construction and represents an investment of up to $25 billion.
- Hanwha Q Cells is investing $2.5 billion on the expansion of its solar factories in Dalton, Georgia, which will create 3,000 jobs.
- Netflix is investing $2.5 billion in Korean content.
- Broader Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF): The United States and the ROK are working to advance IPEF and achieve high-standard commitments across all four Pillars. For its part, the ROK plans to host an IPEF negotiation round in Busan later this year.
- Expanded Supply Chain Security and Cooperation: The United States is deepening cooperation and engagement with the ROK on economic security measures, including through new working groups in the U.S.-ROK Supply Chain and Commercial Dialogue (SCCD). Through these efforts, the United States and the ROK are increasing cooperation on semiconductor incentive programs, research initiatives, and supply chain risks, as well as strengthening cooperation on export controls.
- Expanded Cooperation for Critical Minerals Supply Chains: The ROK Government will make available $5.3 billion during the next five years to support ROK critical minerals and battery manufacturing investments in North America. The United States and the ROK will pursue the establishment of a more resilient supply chain, including by playing leading roles in the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP).
- Fast-tracking E2 Visas: The United States and the ROK are committed to facilitating timely business travel in support of significant ROK investments in the United States. To ensure a smooth process for ROK investors, the U.S. Embassy in Seoul worked with the ROK government and businesses to improve visa processing procedures, resulting in a significant reduction in E2 investment visa wait times from 87 to 5 days.
- Supporting International Efforts to Counter Russia: The ROK has joined the United States and the international coalition of over 30 countries holding Russia responsible for its war in Ukraine through the imposition of sanctions and export controls.
- Joint Efforts on Green Shipping: To accelerate the de-carbonization of the shipping sector, the two nations committed to sign a joint statement on ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals in the International Maritime Organization, support the establishment of the U.S.-ROK Green Shipping Corridor announced by the two countries at the COP27 in 2022, and broaden technological and information sharing cooperation, particularly on green shipping.
- Enhancing Cooperation on Clean Energy and Decarbonization: The United States and ROK held a ministerial-level meeting under the Energy Policy Dialogue (EPD) to identify priority areas for continued collaboration on economy-wide decarbonization. The EPD aims to advance policy and technical exchanges and reinforces the two nations’ commitment to advancing clean energy goals.
TECHNOLOGY, DIGITAL, AND SPACE COOPERATION
Our Alliance is equipped for the 21st Century, and collaboration between the United States and the ROK has grown to include cybersecurity, critical and emerging technology, and space. We are augmenting our digital cooperation, including by improving collaboration on effective digital and telecommunications policy. We are also on a course to broaden our space cooperation across multiple sectors, including security and defense, commercial investment, and space exploration.
- New Cyber Strategic Framework: The two Presidents announced a new bilateral cybersecurity framework that institutionalizes cooperation on developing organizational culture to enhance the cybersecurity of national security networks, increasing defensive cybersecurity capabilities, and collaborating on cybersecurity capacity-building efforts.
- Launching a Next Generation Critical and Emerging Technologies Dialogue: The United States and the ROK are launching a new interagency technology dialogue, convened annually and led by the two National Security Advisors, to expand partnership in such areas as biotechnology and biomanufacturing, batteries, semiconductors, and digital and quantum technologies.
- Expanding Cooperation in Biotechnology: The United States and the ROK are increasing biotechnology and biomanufacturing cooperation, including through an MOU between the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology that supports U.S. and ROK goals to enhance infrastructure development, workforce and talent capacity, and bioeconomy-related research and development.
- Cooperation in Space Science and Exploration: NASA and the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) signed a joint statement of intent at the Goddard Space Flight Center to explore further cooperation in space science and exploration. Additionally, NASA, MSIT, and participating agencies intend to conduct a joint study on potential areas of future cooperation to explore the Moon and Mars.
- Strengthening Space- and Cyber-Related Consultations: The United States and the ROK committed to strengthen space and cyber cooperation and improve interoperability through consultative bodies such as the Civil Space Dialogue (CSD), Space Security Dialogue (SSD), Space Cooperation Working Group (SCWG) and Cyber Cooperation Working Group (CCWG).
- Strengthening the Freedom Online Coalition: The ROK is joining the Freedom Online Coalition and U.S. efforts to further strengthen and expand this Coalition dedicated to support Internet freedom and protect human rights online.
- Partnering to Combat Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse: The United States and ROK continue to work together, alongside 10 other countries and a multi-stakeholder advisory group and steering committee, to prioritize, understand, prevent, and address the growing scourge of technology-facilitated gender-based violence through the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse.
EXPANDING DEVELOPMENT, EDUCATION, AND PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE TIES
President Biden and President Yoon highlighted the remarkable cultural connections between our two nations, and our increasing cooperative focus on development issues around the world. They shared their intent to further strengthen our combined development work and to knit the American and Korean people even more closely together.
- Supporting Ukraine: The ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), in close coordination with USAID, plans to contribute to USAID’s Agriculture Resilience Initiative (AGRI) for Ukraine. This is part of the ROK’s pledge of additional assistance of $130 million on top of its $100 million contribution last year.
- Enhancing Development Cooperation: On April 25, USAID and the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) signed a three-year MOU to support personnel exchanges to increase mutual understanding of development cooperation policy and implementation. USAID and KOICA committed to assist with marine litter monitoring systems in the Philippines, and cooperate on the Climate Resilient Cities program. USAID will also establish a permanent presence at US Embassy Seoul in 2023 to enhance donor collaboration.
- Peace Corps-World Friends Korea MOU Supports Climate Adaption in the Indo-Pacific: Building on the example of Peace Corps volunteers who served in the education and health sectors in the ROK from 1966-1981, the ROK has developed its own overseas volunteering program, World Friends Korea. The organizations have signed an MOU to support climate adaptation and in-country volunteering initiatives with a focus on the Indo-Pacific.
- New Educational Exchange Initiative: The United States and the ROK committed to engage in a new, multi-year, $60 million educational exchange program in the fields of humanities and social sciences as well as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The program includes the largest-ever Fulbright graduate program focused on STEM research.
- Develop New Executive Training Program on Technology: The United States and the ROK committed to develop a new program focused on training the next generation of leaders to be informed, responsible stewards of critical and emerging technologies, including semiconductors, AI, quantum, and biotechnology. The program is intended for mid-career leaders in the public sector from the United States, ROK, India, United Kingdom, and Germany.
- Increasing Cultural and Language Exchanges: The two Presidents welcomed the renewal of an MOU that will increase the number of each countries’ annual participants in the Work, English Study, Travel program from 2,000 to 2,500.
- Deepening U.S.-ROK Health Cooperation: The United States and the ROK have renewed an MOU to cooperate on cutting-edge cancer research and exchange information about the safe production of medical products with artificial intelligence. Expanding cooperation between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the ROK Ministry of Health and Welfare includes engagement on global health security, digital health, and universal health coverage.