- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Excerpts of the joint statement of the United States and South Korea, issued yesterday by the White House following a summit between President Bush of the United States of America and President Roh Moo-hyun of the Republic of Korea.

The two leaders pledged to work closely together to modernize the U.S.-ROK alliance, taking advantage of technology to transform both nations’ forces and enhance their capabilities to meet emerging threats. …

The two leaders also noted the opportunity provided by the Republic of Korea’s growing national strength to continue expanding the role of the ROK armed forces in defending the Korean Peninsula. …

President Bush and President Roh reaffirmed that they will not tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea. They noted with serious concern North Korea’s statements about reprocessing, possession of nuclear weapons, and its threat to demonstrate or transfer these weapons. They stressed that escalatory moves by North Korea will only lead to its greater isolation and a more desperate situation in the North.

Both leaders reiterated their strong commitment to work for the complete, verifiable and irreversible elimination of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program through peaceful means based on international cooperation. They welcomed the role played by China at the April 23-25 trilateral talks in Beijing. …

Noting that the United States and the Republic of Korea are the two leading donors of humanitarian food assistance to North Korea, the two presidents reaffirmed that humanitarian assistance is provided without linkage to political developments and noted the need to ensure that the assistance goes to those in need.

President Bush stressed that North Korea’s nuclear programs stand in the way of the bold approach and the ability of the international community to consider comprehensive steps to assist the many needs of the North Korean people. …

President Bush welcomed and supported President Roh’s commitment to continued structural reform of the Korean economy and his goal of making Korea a regional hub for trade, finance, and investment in Northeast Asia.

The two leaders agreed that progress on open trade, investment, and transparency are essential to making this hub concept a reality, and recognized the important role of the private sector in this effort. …

Recognizing the importance of global trade liberalization, the two leaders expressed their determination to work together to achieve a successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda. …

President Bush conveyed his deep respect not only for the contributions of Korean-Americans to American society but also for the ideals of democracy, peace and prosperity realized by the citizens of the Republic of Korea.

President Roh extended his appreciation to the U.S. government and its people for all that has been done to help Korean-Americans realize their dreams in American society. …

President Bush said he looked forward to another visit to the Republic of Korea.


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