Go to contents

Roh: Korea-U.S. Alliance Will Not Change

Posted June. 09, 2005 06:27,   


On June 8, President Roh Moo-hyun said, “Korea’s successful democracy, market economy, peace and prosperity are all based on the Korea-U.S. alliance,” and emphasized that the Korean public is well aware of the above mentioned matters, and that this fact will not change in the future.

Regarding the Korea-U.S. alliance, President Roh added that although he mused over some matters because he thought he had made some difficult problems, the matters raised by him were still in progress. In general, the U.S. raised more of the fixed problems.

At a luncheon meeting with seven high-ranking USFK (U.S. Forces Korea) officers, including the USFK Commander Leon J. LaPorte, held at Cheong Wa Dae, President Roh said that after he became President, there were many changes to the Korea-U.S. alliance.

Regarding the president’s statement, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Man-soo explained that the issues raised by the U.S. were the dispatch of Korean soldiers to Iraq, the reorganization of USFK, and the relocation of the Yongsan base, and that the issues raised by President Roh referred to Korea’s role as a balancer in Northeast Asia and the U.S. Force’s strategic flexibility.

President Roh’s remark of yesterday could be interpreted as the president emphasizing that despite some frictions between the two countries which were caused by the president’s independent foreign policy that “Korea should assert its opinion even if it puts Korea in awkward position,” as Korea embraced most of the requests made by the U.S., no major problem occurred.

President Roh noted that although it was an inevitable change, the army commanders of Korea and U.S. all greatly underwent a very hard process, adding that in spite of a long period of negotiation and potential complaints from the two countries because the opinions from the two countries are different from each other, as a whole, the countries share similar views in most issues.

Meanwhile, regarding North Korea’s mentioning that it will return to the six-party talks at the North Korea-U.S. meeting in New York, Presidential Foreign Policy Adviser Chung Woo-seong stated that although it’s obviously not a bad sign, it’s early to jump to the conclusion that North Korea’s statement will lead to the resumption of the six-party talks.

Advisor Chung also remarked that the six-way talks should be reopened by June, or July at the latest, that they shouldn’t be delayed further beyond this point of time, and that Korea, the U.S., and China were working hard to make it happen.

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com