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Biden: US to continue betting on Korea

Posted December. 07, 2013 07:20,   


President Park Geun-hye held talks with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and discussed Korea’s plan to expand its air defense identification zone to include the undersea reef islet of Ieo on Friday.

According to Seoul’s Foreign Affairs Minister Yun Byung-se, during the meeting held at the presidential office on the day, President Park explained the Korean government’s stance, to which Vice President Biden replied that he valued President Park’s explanations and Korea’s efforts.

Yun indicated that Seoul has effectively completed coordination on the matter with neighboring countries, as he asked reporters to “note the implication of Vice President Biden’s recognition of our (Korea’s) efforts, including his use of the expression ‘appreciate.’ It will be illustrated how other countries including the U.S. will respond after we make official announcement.”

The government held a national security coordination meeting presided over by Kim Jang-soo, head of the national security office at the presidential office, and finalized a plan on a new KADIZ on Friday afternoon. The government reportedly finalized a plan to synchronize KADIZ south of Jeju Island, which currently excludes skies over Ieo undersea island, with the flight information region, and to include in KADIZ skies over waters around Mara Island and Hong Island that are included in JADIZ. The government plans to officially announce the new definition of KADIZ on Sunday.

At his meeting with Park, Biden said he welcomes the Seoul government’s expression of interest in the Trans Pacific Pact. On the postponement of transfer of wartime operational control from Washington to Seoul, a key agenda between the two countries, the U.S. vice president agreed on the idea that the measure should be implemented in a way that further boosts Korea-U.S. joint defense capability, and thus left open the possibility to delay once again the planned transfer.

Park said, “The Korea-U.S. alliance is an important linchpin for the stability and prosperity of the Asia Pacific region.” Biden said, “Korea is the U.S’ most important ally and the U.S. will continuously bet on Korea.” Biden said that there is no doubt about President Barack Obama’s rebalancing strategy towards the Asia Pacific region, and that the U.S. never makes statement that it will not put into action, in expressing commitment to rebalancing to Asia.