President Moon Jae-in on Thursday spoke with US President-elect Joe Biden via phone, reaffirming their commitment to the alliance and to cooperating on global issues ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate change.
“I think that the election result is a reflection of US citizens’ high expectations for President-elect Biden’s long experience in state affairs, outstanding leadership and clear vision,” Moon was quoted as saying by Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Kang Min-seok.
Kang said that Moon thanked Biden for the interest and respect he has shown for the Korea-US alliance, citing the US president-elect paying respects at the Korean War memorial in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Biden made a brief trip to the memorial in his birth state as the US observed its Veterans Day holiday.
“Biden, holding the hand of his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and accompanied by the Mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, arrived at the black marble memorial that stands in a square. US and Korean flags flew overhead,” a pool report said. The visit lasted 15 minutes, during which the president-elect laid three wreaths of flowers at the memorial, according to the report. He did not offer any remarks.
“Moon thanked the president-elect for his commitment to improving Korea-US relations and establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Kang said.
“President Moon expressed hopes to work closely with President-elect Biden on denuclearization and establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula, and strengthening the Korea-US alliance that has been the foundation of peace and prosperity in the region.”
According to Kang, Biden described Korea as the “linchpin” of security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, and promised to maintain the US defense policy regarding South Korea and to work closely with Seoul on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.
According to Kang, Moon and Biden agreed that the two sides should expand cooperation on global issues including COVID-19 and climate change. Biden praised South Korea’s response to the pandemic, and reiterated his commitment to dealing with the matter in the US.
Ahead of the Cheong Wa Dae briefing, Moon commented on the conversation with Biden through social media.
“I just spoke to @JoeBiden and congratulated him on his election. We reaffirmed our firm commitment to a robust ROK-US alliance and peaceful and prosperous Korean Peninsula. Going forward, I will work closely with him to meet global challenges including COVID19 and climate change,” Moon said through his official social media account following the call that was scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday. ROK refers to the Republic of Korea, South Korea’s formal name.
Ahead of Moon’s social media message, Cheong Wa Dae revealed that the National Security Council was convened with National Security Office chief Suh Hoon presiding to discuss US issues.
“The council members discussed the situation concerning the US presidential election, and discussed ways to continue improving Korea-US relations and to establish permanent peace and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Cheong Wa Dae said in a statement.
By Choi He-suk (email@example.com