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Pres. Lee Proposes Strategic Plan for Korea-U.S. Alliance

Pres. Lee Proposes Strategic Plan for Korea-U.S. Alliance

Posted April. 17, 2008 04:48,   


President Lee Myung-bak said yesterday that Korea and the United States must formulate a new master strategic plan that can contribute to peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and Asia.

On the first day of his official visit to the United States, the president spoke at the Korea Society’s 50th Annual Dinner in New York. “There has been growing concerns over the waning alliance between Korea and the U.S. in the past. These worries originated from the belief that ideology and politics have distorted the alliance, rather than the relationship based on long-term strategic partnership.”

He said the two countries should agree on a strategic vision for their alliance in the 21st century, which is firmly anchored in shared values, mutual trust and joint efforts to promote world peace. The alliance will exert more power when the two countries share their values and vision based on market economy and free democracy, he added.

At a meeting with Korean Americans, the president mentioned a tougher stance and measures against North Korea. “Unlike the past lenient practices under the engagement policy, there will be no such approach to provide unilateral assistance in return for negotiations. My administration will not buy [Pyongyang’s] threats and brinkmanship.”

On Seoul’s free trade agreement with Washington, he said, “If the U.S. approves the deal, Korea will approve the deal. It will be beneficial for both countries if both can ratify the agreement this year. The deal will help raise bilateral relations to a comprehensive partnership, and bring about mutual benefits.”

President Lee also urged Congress to step up the accord’s ratification, saying, “If Congress ratifies the deal, it will provide the U.S. with a springboard to East Asia, the fastest growing economic region in the world.”