Today President Joseph R. Biden Jr. of the United States (U.S.) and President Yoon Suk Yeol of the Republic of Korea (ROK) met in Washington to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-ROK Alliance. This is the second State Visit of the Biden-Harris Administration. While our two nations are inseparably tied by our deep and unwavering security cooperation—reinforced today by the Presidents’ commitments in the Washington Declaration to develop ever-stronger mutual defense and deterrence—the greatest success of the Alliance is its clear and expanding focus on achieving a secure and brighter future for the American and Korean people. Together, we will increase our comprehensive global cooperation, deepen our robust regional engagement, and broaden our ironclad bilateral ties during the next 70 years of our Alliance to face the 21st century’s most difficult challenges head-on. Guided by our shared commitment to defend universal human rights, freedom, and the rule of law, the United States and the ROK are constructing an Alliance that will provide future generations with a firm foundation upon which to build prosperity and security.
Global Comprehensive Strategic Alliance
As the linchpin for peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, our Alliance has grown far beyond the Korean Peninsula, reflecting the vital role of our two countries as global leaders in advancing democracy, economic prosperity, security, and technological innovation. The two Presidents reiterated their commitment to the principles enshrined in the UN Charter. President Biden applauded the ROK’s initiative to embrace greater global responsibilities, including by hosting the next Summit for Democracy, further developing the partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the G7 on the basis of shared values, and continuing to expand contributions to UN peacekeeping activities. For his part, President Yoon expressed support for the United States’ cooperative efforts to ensure peace and security in the region, including through the launch of AUKUS. President Biden and President Yoon see global development cooperation as a key way to advance global stability and welcomed the signing of new institutional frameworks that strengthen U.S.-ROK development cooperation and beyond.
President Yoon and President Biden join the international community in condemning Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The United States and the ROK stand with Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the two Presidents condemned in the strongest possible terms Russia’s actions against civilians and critical infrastructure. Both countries have responded resolutely to Russia’s clear violations of international law by promoting accountability through sanctions and export control measures, and we are continuing to support Ukraine through the vital provision of political, security, humanitarian, and economic assistance, including to increase power generation and transmission and rebuild critical infrastructure.
President Biden and President Yoon reiterate their commitment to diplomacy with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as the only viable means of achieving lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and call on the DPRK to return to negotiations. The two Presidents are committed to build a better future for all Korean people and support a unified Korean Peninsula that is free and at peace. The United States and the ROK stand ready to provide humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable North Koreans and will strengthen cooperation to promote human rights in the DPRK as well as to resolve the issues of abductions, detainees, and unrepatriated prisoners of war. President Biden reaffirmed his support for the goals of the ROK’s Audacious Initiative. The United States and the ROK condemn the DPRK’s blatant violation of human rights and the dignity of its own people and its decision to distribute its scarce resources to weapons of mass destruction development, which presents a crucial security challenge for the Alliance. In this vein, the two Presidents condemn the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and call on the DPRK to halt their development. The United States and the ROK are committed to working with the UN Security Council and the international community to address actions by the DPRK and individuals and entities that violate UN Security Council resolutions. President Biden and President Yoon reiterate their commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and reaffirm that a DPRK nuclear test would be met with a strong and resolute response from the international community.
The Presidents expressed their deep concern regarding the growing impact of climate change and biodiversity loss, and they committed to galvanize global action to address the climate crisis. President Yoon and President Biden reaffirmed their Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement and 2050 net-zero targets. Recognizing the need for ambitious power sector decarbonization to meet these goals, the Presidents agreed to significantly enhance the clean electricity share, including renewables and nuclear energy. The Presidents committed to cooperate in the development and deployment of carbon reduction, renewable, and hydrogen technologies and enhance energy efficiency in industry, construction, and transportation. The Presidents seek to strengthen bilateral cooperation in clean hydrogen, methane abatement in the fossil fuel sector, green shipping, and accelerating the deployment of light-duty, zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs).
Our two nations are committed to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The two leaders affirmed the importance of nuclear energy as a key means for overcoming the energy security crisis and achieving their goal of net zero emissions. The Presidents reaffirmed that both countries are committed to engaging in global civil nuclear cooperation consistent with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol, while mutually respecting each other’s export control regulations and intellectual property rights. They committed to promoting the responsible development and deployment of civil nuclear energy globally by leveraging financing tools, building capacity in recipient countries, and establishing a more resilient nuclear supply chain.
President Yoon and President Biden commit to strengthen the U.S.-ROK collaboration on research and development leading to increased investment that promotes the growth of digital content and cloud computing. The United States and the ROK acknowledge the importance of the free flow of data with trust across borders through an open, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet. The Presidents view high-standard digital trade rules as a path toward an open and fair digital economy. Recognizing the importance of telecommunications security and vendor diversity, the Presidents also commit to work together to develop open, transparent, and secure 5G and 6G network devices and architectures using Open RAN approaches, both at home and abroad.
Expanding Cooperation Throughout the Indo-Pacific
The two Presidents recognized the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific that is connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient and committed to strengthening mutual cooperation across the region. In this regard, President Biden welcomed the ROK’s first Indo-Pacific Strategy as a reflection of our shared regional commitment. The two Presidents affirmed that the two countries will cooperate in implementing their respective Indo-Pacific strategies and acknowledged the importance of Indo-Pacific voices in multilateral forums, especially in addressing climate change, sustainable energy access, and food insecurity.
The United States and the ROK are committed to an inclusive, free, and fair trading system and to working with likeminded partners against threats to ensure a prosperous future for the Alliance and the Indo-Pacific region. We share deep concerns about and express opposition to harmful uses of economic influence, including economic coercion as well as use of opaque tools with respect to foreign firms, and will cooperate with like-minded partners to counter economic coercion. The two nations are committed to building regional partnerships and coordinating measures to detect and address potential supply chain disruptions and strengthen resiliency. The United States and the ROK intend to provide resources for technical assistance, capacity building, and other cooperative initiatives to support high-standard outcomes in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and will make efforts to secure related financial resources for these purposes. President Biden welcomed President Yoon’s announcement that the ROK will host the fourth IPEF negotiating round in Busan later this year. The two nations also committed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
The two Presidents emphasized the importance of U.S.-ROK-Japan trilateral cooperation, guided by shared values, driven by innovation, and committed to shared prosperity and security. President Biden welcomed President Yoon’s bold steps toward improving ROK-Japan relations and extended strong support for expanding ROK-Japan collaboration, which opens the door to deeper trilateral cooperation on regional and economic security. The Presidents welcomed the progress made in sharing DPRK missile warning data in real-time and affirmed the regularization of anti-submarine and missile defense exercises to deter and respond to the DPRK’s advancing nuclear and missile threats more effectively. They also discussed plans for restoring maritime interdiction and anti-piracy exercises and identifying additional forms of trilateral training for disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.
The Presidents reiterated the importance of preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait as an indispensable element of security and prosperity in the region. They strongly opposed any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the Indo-Pacific, including through unlawful maritime claims, the militarization of reclaimed features, and coercive activities. President Yoon and President Biden also reaffirmed their commitment to preserve unimpeded commerce, freedom of navigation and overflight, and other lawful use of the sea, including in the South China Sea and beyond, as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The two Presidents committed to increase cooperation with Southeast Asia and the Pacific Island Countries to promote resilient health systems, sustainable development, climate resilience and adaptation, energy security, and digital connectivity. They shared a commitment to ASEAN centrality as well as to enhancing cooperation on the provision of regional development assistance—including through new staff exchanges and peer-to-peer learning—and direct collaboration on programs, particularly in the Mekong sub-region. Both Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to contributing to the Pacific including through the Partners in the Blue Pacific initiative as well as the ROK’s decision to host the first ROK-Pacific Islands Summit in May.
Strengthening Ironclad Bilateral Collaboration
The U.S.-ROK relationship is marked by our longstanding investment, trade, technological, and people-to-people ties, which have led to significant economic opportunity and prosperity for both countries and will continue to do so for the next 70 years. The United States and the ROK committed to address trade concerns through the committees of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement and other relevant channels, including for semiconductors, steel, and other critical goods. The United States and the ROK will continue to consult closely on foreign exchange market developments to promote sustainable growth and financial stability, reaffirming their recognition of foreign exchange market cooperation.
President Biden and President Yoon affirmed the need to make bold investments to build clean energy economies and to build and strengthen mutually beneficial supply chain ecosystems for our critical technologies. In that regard, the two leaders appreciated the recent efforts made by the ROK and the United States to alleviate concerns of Korean businesses over the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the CHIPS and Science Act. The two Presidents committed to continue close consultations with a view to ensuring those Acts encourage mutually beneficial corporate investment in the United States by creating predictable conditions for business activities. They also committed to identifying opportunities for research and development collaboration in the fields of leading-edge semiconductors, advanced packaging, and advanced materials.
The two Presidents pledged to further improve our economic security by deepening and broadening cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, including through the establishment of a Next Generation Critical and Emerging Technologies Dialogue led by their National Security Advisors. They committed to more closely aligning on the spirit of digital technology standards and regulations to enhance public and private cooperation on leading-edge semiconductors, batteries, and quantum. They also noted cooperation on artificial intelligence (AI), biotechnology, medical products using AI, and biomanufacturing. They reaffirmed the importance of deepening cooperation between our foreign investment screening and export control authorities, recognizing the necessity to take appropriate measures to ensure national security, while maintaining resilient global semiconductor supply chains and keeping up with rapid technological advancement. The two Presidents welcomed the signing of a joint statement on U.S.-ROK cooperation in quantum information science and technology, and they called for efforts to conclude a U.S.-ROK Reciprocal Defense Procurement Agreement to strengthen cooperation in the global defense industry.
President Yoon and President Biden recognized that the Alliance applies to cyberspace and committed to establish a U.S.-ROK Strategic Cybersecurity Cooperation Framework. The United States and the ROK commit to using this framework to expand cooperation on deterring cyber adversaries, increase the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure, combat cybercrime, and secure cryptocurrency and blockchain applications. The Presidents expressed concern regarding the DPRK’s illicit cyber activities that fund its unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs and committed to expanding information sharing and enhancing international awareness to combat DPRK cyber threats and block its cyber-enabled revenue generation.
Our Alliance also applies to space, and President Yoon and President Biden committed to further strengthening the U.S.-ROK Alliance across all sectors and through multiple channels of space cooperation. The two Presidents welcomed the ROK’s intention to expand its investments in space exploration and announced plans to study concepts for cooperation on the exploration of the Moon and Mars. The United States welcomed the ROK’s new Korea Aero Space Administration, anticipating collaborative projects. Both sides called for strengthening U.S.-ROK commercial space cooperation and welcomed the United States’ recent clarification of its export control policies on satellites and satellite components, which provides a foundation for expanded bilateral commercial and governmental space cooperation. Both sides welcomed the potential for industrial collaboration on future commercial space stations. The two Presidents also welcomed deepening space security cooperation, including the ROK’s commitment not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing. Both sides will work towards advancing bilateral space situational awareness cooperation in response to growing space risks and threats, and ensuring a safe, secure, and sustainable space environment through further development of norms of responsible behaviors.
The United States and the ROK are committed to deepening their people-to-people ties and educational cooperation for future generations in the fields of humanities and social sciences, as well as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with the shared objective of fostering greater and deeper understanding through excellence in education. The Presidents announced a new educational exchange initiative amounting to $60 million, funded jointly, that aims to serve 2,023 Koreans and 2,023 Americans, symbolic of the year 2023 and in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Alliance. The initiative will include 200 grantees under the Fulbright scholarship program, making it the largest number of grantees selected for STEM in Fulbright’s history. President Biden and President Yoon noted that our mutual prosperity and global competitiveness depends on our ability to empower all our people, particularly women, to participate in and contribute to our economy, in all sectors and at all levels.
From developing resilient supply chains and investing in critical technologies and strategic sectors, such as semiconductors and critical minerals, to combating the climate crisis and accelerating the clean energy transition—our two nations are deepening and broadening all aspects of our relationship at a breakneck speed. These next 70 years of the U.S.-ROK Alliance will be the brightest yet. President Biden and President Yoon reaffirmed their joint commitments to working tirelessly to broaden and deepen our ties as an Alliance in action toward the future.
President Yoon expressed his gratitude for President Biden’s warm hospitality and extended an invitation for President Biden to visit the ROK again at a time of mutual convenience.