President Moon Jae-in speaks before his meeting with congressional leaders at the Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday. On his left is US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (Joint Press Corps)
WASHINGTON/SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in reaffirmed Seoul's commitment to a stronger alliance with Washington during a meeting with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders Thursday.
In the session held on Capitol Hill, he described the bilateral alliance as "the world's most exemplary" one, according to Chung Man-ho, senior Cheong Wa Dae secretary for public communication.
"I promise that we will continue to go together in the same direction down the road as well," Moon was quoted as saying.
He added that South Korea's democratization was based on the robust alliance and that whenever the nation was in difficulty, "trust and support" from US Congress have been "of great help."
The president requested continued support for joint efforts to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establish permanent peace as well as to overcome the COVID-19 crisis, reorganize global supply chains and respond to climate change, Chung said.
Pelosi expressed hope for brisk exchanges between South and North Korean people.
She also mentioned the issue of Japan's sexual enslavement of Korean and other Asian women during World War II, a sticking point in Seoul-Tokyo ties.
Pelosi referred to a 2007 resolution passed by the US House of Representatives calling for Japan's apology over the atrocity.
She was quoted as saying that she would like to see "justice" being realized.
Speaking in front of pool reporters at the outset of the session, Moon said that while the coronavirus crisis has widened the "physical distance between peoples," it has proven that all mankind is linked as one.
He stressed the importance of "solidarity and cooperation" via transborder communication and dialogue in order to overcome the pandemic and lay the groundwork for a better future.
"The South Korea-US alliance, which has been solidified for 70 years, will be a model," he said.
Pelosi agreed that the alliance is not just about national security. She took note of Moon's initiative not only for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula but also for tackling climate change.
Among other representatives joining the meeting were House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, along with Gregory Meeks, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Adam Schiff, who leads the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. (Joint Press Corps)