STATEMENTS AND RELEASES
MAY 21, 2021
The United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) pledge to strengthen our alliance and to broaden its focus to address issues of critical importance to the Indo-Pacific region and the world. We will deepen our cooperation on advanced technologies, increase global vaccinations and protect the world from future pandemics, combat the climate crisis, and enhance economic cooperation and our people-to-people ties. Through these concrete initiatives, the United States and the Republic of Korea will demonstrate that our alliance is prepared to lead the region towards a prosperous, secure, dynamic, and bright future.
Technology and Innovation
As global leaders in technology and innovation, the United States and the ROK are committed to fostering strong and resilient supply chains, deepening our cooperation across space and new digital frontiers, and safeguarding a trusted, values-driven digital and technological ecosystem, in line with our shared democratic values. As we work together to foster post-pandemic recovery and build back a stronger more resilient global economy, we seek to leverage the collective strengths of our two countries – our open and competitive market systems, our shared democratic values and commitments to human rights, our mutual commitment to intellectual property protection and scientific and research integrity, and the shared spirit of innovation that animates our scientific and business communities – to address the critical challenges of the 21st century to the benefit of our citizens and the global community.
The United States and the Republic of Korea welcome:
- The announcements of significant investments in the United States and the Republic of Korea by our leading companies. These investments, totaling more than $25 billion, reflect the longstanding close economic ties between the United States and the ROK.
Together, the United States and the Republic of Korea will:
- Facilitate mutual and complementary investments in semiconductors, including for advanced and auto-grade chips, and high-capacity batteries and commit to mutual and complementary investments across the entire supply chain of materials, parts, and equipment to expand the production capacity of these key products.
- Encourage joint R&D on critical and emerging technologies through programs nurturing AI, next-generation mobile network (6G), data, quantum technology, and biotechnology. Regarding quantum technology in particular, we welcome joint research and expert exchanges in quantum computing, communications, and sensing.
- Recognize the importance of secure 5G and 6G networks, commit to supporting diverse and resilient supply chains, including innovative network architectures such as open-RAN technology, and commit to work together on open-RAN technology development and standardization issues.
- Strengthen competitiveness in advanced information communications technologies, including 5G and next-generation mobile networks (“6G” or “Beyond 5G”), by encouraging investments in research, development, testing, and deployment of secure networks. The United States has committed $2.5 billion to this effort, and the ROK has committed $1 billion.
- Explore the creation of a U.S.-ROK Supply Chain Task Force between the U.S. White House and the ROK Office of the President, to implement and review bilateral cooperation in the high-tech manufacturing and supply chains.
- Establish a bilateral investment screening cooperation working group, led by the U.S. Departments of Treasury and State and their ROK counterparts at the technical level, to collaborate on ways to safeguard investments and strengthen investment screening mechanism.
- Expand cooperation on space exploration facilitated by the Republic of Korea’s decision to sign the Artemis Accords, joining nine other nations focused on returning to the moon by 2024 and ultimately expand and deepen space exploration.
- Support for the ROK’s development of its own satellite navigation system, the Korean Positioning System, and enhance its compatibility and interoperability with the Global Positioning System.
Deepening Cooperation on COVID-19 Response, Global Health, and Health Security
The United States and the Republic of Korea recognize the suffering that COVID-19 has caused around the world and share a commitment to multilateral cooperation to end the pandemic and address future global health threats. We pledge to expand coordination under the Global Health Security Agenda and to bolster pandemic prevention and response. We are also committed to partnering with each other, and with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation and COVAX, to expand vaccine production and related supplies and manufacturing innovations to meet this pressing global need. Through active leadership, the U.S. and the ROK will implement measures to improve our collective global health security, bolster COVID-19 response efforts, and build capacity to prevent the next pandemic.
Together, the United States and the Republic of Korea will:
- Support the Global Health Security Agenda, as steering group members, to improve global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. To facilitate this the ROK has committed $200 million in new funding over five years to help address future health threats.
- To prepare for and mitigate the damage of the next biological threat, the United States and the ROK will work together in a new partnership with other likeminded partners to establish a multilateral, sustainable and catalytic health security financing mechanism this year and an associated governance structure.
- Work together to renew its bilateral health memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare to ensure continued close cooperation on pandemic response and future global health issues.
- Establish a comprehensive KORUS Global Vaccine Partnership to strengthen joint response capabilities for infectious disease through international vaccine cooperation. Based on the partnership, we will actively cooperate on greatly scaling up global COVID-19 vaccine supply, including through COVAX and in coordination with CEPI, to countries around the world. Drawing on each of our strengths, we will undertake the following work:
- The United States and Korea will work collaboratively to expand manufacturing capacity for vaccines and related raw materials and promote science and technology cooperation for global benefit;
- The United States and Korea will work to expand the production of vaccines that have been demonstrated safe and effective, as assessed by Stringent Regulatory Authorities and/or the World Health Organization;
- Korea will provide expanded production capacity at manufacturing facilities in Korea to meet increasing demand of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in a timely manner;
- The United States will discuss production constraints and launch expert cooperation aimed at global expansion of the raw materials and other components needed to make vaccines.
- The United States and Korea will foster R&D and scientific collaboration with a focus on global health security and pandemic preparedness. Korea and the United States each have gold standard biomedical research institutions in the area of infectious diseases and globally will promote the importance of voluntary technology transfer for vaccine production. By fostering collaborative work on COVID-19 and research to combat epidemics and pandemics of the future, we can jointly realize a world that prevents future outbreaks from becoming epidemics.
- Launch a senior-level KORUS Global Vaccine Partnership Experts Group to implement the partnership to expand global COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing, comprised of scientists, experts and officials from our governments.
Advancing Shared Goals on Climate and Clean Energy
The United States and the Republic of Korea will work together on areas of shared commitment, including climate ambition, sectoral decarbonization and clean energy deployment. To achieve these goals, the United States and the Republic of Korea will cooperate on our efforts to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and achieve net zero emissions no later than 2050.
Together, the United States and the Republic of Korea will undertake the following work:
- The ROK will release early in October its provisional enhanced 2030 target, and by COP26 its final enhanced 2030 target, aligned with efforts to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and with the global goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050.
- The United States and the ROK will enhance technical exchanges and cooperate to enhance our efforts to achieve our 2030 targets and 2050 goals, including long-term strategies.
- The United States and the ROK will seek economy-wide decarbonization aligned with achieving net zero emissions by 2050, including working together to decarbonize our respective power sectors and facilitate clean and zero-emissions vehicle development for our respective government fleets.
- The United States and the ROK will align official international financing with the global achievement of net zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050 and deep emission reductions in the 2020s, and work to support developing countries and promote the flow of public and private capital toward climate-aligned investments and away from high-carbon investments. The ROK and the United States will work together at the OECD and in other international venues to end all forms of new public financing for overseas unabated coal-fired power plants. The ROK looks forward to joining with the United States and other countries in contributing climate finance towards the new post-2025 mobilization goal under the Paris Agreement.
- The United States and the ROK will collaborate and exchange information on nature-based solutions, to conserve and enhance natural carbon sinks including forests, oceans and coastal ecosystems, recognizing their role in combatting the climate crisis.
- The United States and the ROK will cooperate on the issue of marine debris and plastic pollution at the global level. In this regard, the Republic of Korea would like to highlight the significance of hosting of the 7th International Marine Debris Conference in cooperation with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United Nations Environment Programme. For the success of the 2022 Conference in Busan, the Republic of Korea looks forward to the United States support and active participation.
- The United States and the ROK will elevate to the Ministerial level and expand the existing Energy Policy Dialogue to focus on enhancing clean energy deployment and areas of mutual interest. We will expand clean energy and decarbonization cooperation to include: R&D on hydrogen storage, collaboration on electric vehicle battery manufacturing in the United States, lithium-ion battery recycling, grid-scale energy storage, and potential renewable energy deployment (e.g., offshore wind).
Expanding our partnership
The unbreakable U.S.-ROK alliance is grounded in our shared democratic values, is comprehensive in nature, and poised to tackle the most urgent issues of the 21st Century. We pledge to continue to work together to create a free, safe, prosperous, and dynamic Indo-Pacific region and reinforce the ASEAN-led regional architecture through cooperation between the ROK’s New Southern Policy and the United States’ priorities in the region. The United States and the ROK commit to expanding our partnership in cybersecurity, development assistance, human rights and democracy promotion, health, and climate change. People-to-people ties between our two countries are a central pillar of the enduring friendship of our people, which has spanned generations and will continue for generations to come.
Together, the United States and the Republic of Korea will:
- Recognizing that the Indo-Pacific is a key region for the peace and prosperity of the two countries, advance cooperation on projects in the region in connection with the ROK’s New Southern Policy and the United States’ vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.
- Establish a cyber-working group focused on enhancing cooperation among law enforcement and homeland security agencies, to learn from past cybercrime events and combat ransomware attacks against our two countries.
- Further cooperation in civil nuclear industry in overseas nuclear markets, and strengthen our cooperation in non-proliferation in the course of such collaboration. As part of our earnest effort to ensure supply of nuclear power, the ROK and the United States commit to co-participate in overseas nuclear markets by promoting coordination in the supply chain, and the ROK will adopt a common policy with the United States to require recipient countries have an IAEA safeguard agreement Additional Protocol in place as a condition of supply of nuclear power plants. In this regard, we agree to hold the High Level Bilateral Commission meeting at a mutually agreeable time.
- Continue our shared commitment to Afghanistan including its security and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces through the NATO Afghan National Army Trust Fund.
- Announce the U.S.-ROK Democracy and Governance Consultations (DGC), which will serve as a mechanism for coordination on human rights and democracy promotion efforts at home and abroad. The DGC will be an opportunity for both sides to share best practices and cooperate to promote and strengthen democratic resilience, good governance, and democratic institutions.
- Initiate the two-way exchange of young environmental leaders between the United States and the ROK. U.S. Embassy Seoul will partner with the ROK Embassy in Washington to recruit American participants and organize the exchange program itinerary in Seoul, and U.S. Embassy Seoul would organize Korean participants going to the United States. U.S. Embassy Seoul is looking at 10 participants from each side with the ability to expand as necessary.
- Create a public-private Domestic Violence and Cyber-Exploitation Working Group dedicated to ending the abuse of women online and offline in our two countries. It will 1) develop a statement of principles on addressing cyber-exploitation; 2) launch a bilateral dialogue between our governments on domestic violence and cyber-exploitation legislation; 3) establish a bilateral law-enforcement dialogue on domestic violence and cyber-exploitation, encouraging cooperation domestically and transnationally; and 4) design educational programs to address root causes of domestic violence and cyber-exploitation.
- Expand exchange programs between graduate students of both nations to facilitate training and exchange of professionals in the fields of science, technology and information communications technologies.
- Promote ASEAN centrality and advance new development cooperation between USAID and the Korea International Cooperation Agency in Southeast Asia to enhance public health cooperation; expand cooperation on connectivity, build digital capacity and cyber-security; strengthen the resilience of cities to address growing climate threats and vulnerability; and improve solid waste management and mitigate the impacts of ocean plastic pollution.
- Explore further opportunities to jointly contribute to advancing technical and vocational education and training and seek possible areas of cooperation in linking the youth leadership development programs of the U.S., such as the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, and the ROK’s ASEAN youth projects.
- Assist countries in the Indo-Pacific region to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by providing IUU response capacity building and sharing information on IUU issues.
Increase the interconnectedness between our two countries through a first of its kind baggage screening pilot program between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the ROK Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. The objective is to leverage transit time to screen and adjudicate checked baggage prior to arrival in the U.S., which will maximize resources, limit person-to-person contact, and result in a more efficient process for travelers. This pilot builds on the deep trust between our governments and is intended to increase security, while decreasing traveler-processing times at U.S. ports of entry.