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Joint Declaration in Commemoration of the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea

Published May 7, 2013

President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye issued this joint declaration on May 7, 2013. The statement confirms both nations' commitment to the U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) Mutual Defense Treaty, U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Joint Vision for the U.S.-ROK Alliance, and Six Party Talks with North Korea.

For six decades, the U.S.-ROK Alliance has served as an anchor for stability, security, and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, in the Asia-Pacific region, and increasingly around the world. President Barack Obama of the United States of America and President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea, meeting in Washington, D.C. on May 7, 2013, present this Joint Declaration in celebration of sixty years of bilateral partnership and shared prosperity. The two leaders affirm that the Alliance is well-placed to address the opportunities and challenges of the future.

The U.S.-ROK Alliance, forged in the Korean War and founded on the 1953 United States-Republic of Korea Mutual Defense Treaty, has evolved into a comprehensive strategic alliance with deep cooperation extending beyond security to also encompass the political, economic, cultural, and people-to-people realms. The freedom, friendship, and shared prosperity we enjoy today rest upon our shared values of liberty, democracy, and a market economy.

Building on the past sixty years of stability on the Korean Peninsula, we continue to strengthen and adapt our Alliance to serve as a linchpin of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific and to meet the security challenges of the 21st century. The United States remains firmly committed to the defense of the Republic of Korea, including through extended deterrence and the full range of U.S. military capabilities, both conventional and nuclear.

This year also marks another milestone for our two nations - the first anniversary of the entry into force of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). This agreement embodies the positive evolution of our partnership and demonstrates how deeply the United States and the Republic of Korea are committed to a shared future of growth and prosperity. We are pleased to note the positive results of the KORUS FTA, including increased trade and investment between our two countries, and recognize its potential for expanding bilateral cooperation and business opportunities, including in the energy sector. Our two countries will fully implement the KORUS FTA to ensure that the agreement serves as an economic growth engine in both our countries.

We are pleased with the significant progress made in realizing the 2009 Joint Vision for the Alliance of the United States of America and the Republic of Korea, which lays out a blueprint for the future development of our strategic Alliance. We pledge to continue to build a better and more secure future for all Korean people, working on the basis of the Joint Vision to foster enduring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and its peaceful reunification based on the principles of denuclearization, democracy and a free market economy. In this context, the United States and the Republic of Korea will continue to work through the Alliance to bring North Korea in to compliance with its international obligations and promote peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, including through the trust-building process initiated by President Park.

We share the deep concern that North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missiles programs and its repeated provocations pose grave threats to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. Both the United States and the Republic of Korea are determined to achieve the peaceful denuclearization of North Korea and are working with other Six-Party Talks partners and the international community to insist that North Korea adheres to its international obligations and commitments. While we invite North Korea to take the path that leads out of isolation and to join the community of nations as a responsible member, we are resolved to continue to defend our citizens against North Korea's provocations by strengthening our comprehensive, interoperable, and combined defense capabilities, to include shared efforts to counter the missile threat posed by North Korea and integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems. Because both the United States and the Republic of Korea share a deep concern for the well-being of the North Korean people, we encourage North Korea to invest in, and improve, the conditions for its citizens and to respect their basic human rights.

The peace and prosperity of both our nations are inextricably linked to regional and global security and economic growth. Based on the solid U.S.-ROK Alliance, we are prepared to address our common challenges and seek ways to build an era of peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia. The U.S.-ROK Alliance is an increasingly global partnership, and the United States welcomes the Republic of Korea's leadership and active engagement on the world stage, including in international fora. We will strengthen our efforts to address global challenges such as climate change and to promote clean energy, energy security, human rights, humanitarian assistance, development assistance cooperation, counter-terrorism, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, nuclear safety, non-proliferation, cybersecurity, and counter-piracy.

Our sixty years of partnership and shared prosperity have demonstrated that the strength of our Alliance stems from the close relationships between our peoples. The large Korean-American community in the United States not only serves as a significant link between our two countries, but also makes countless contributions to the strength and vitality of American society. We pledge to continue programs and efforts to build even closer ties between our societies, including cooperation among business, civic, academic, and other institutions.

As allies and Asia-Pacific nations, we look forward to shaping together the future of Asia for generations to come.

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