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Press Conference with President Obama and President Park of the Republic of Korea

Speakers: Barack Obama, and Park Guen-hye
Published April 25, 2014

President Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye held a press conference on April 25, 2014. They released the Joint Fact Sheet on the U.S.-Korea Alliance, which discusses collaboration in peace and security; climate change and energy; international development; economics; and science, technology, and health. President Obama traveled to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Phillipines as part of his administration's rebalance to Asia, a policy to strengthen U.S. economic and political relations in the region.

Excerpt from press conference:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: With regard to North Korea, the United States and South Korea stand shoulder-to-shoulder both in the face of Pyongyang's provocations and in our refusal to accept a nuclear North Korea. Threats will get North Korea nothing other than greater isolation. And we're united on the steps Pyongyang needs to take, including abandoning their nuclear weapons and ballistic weapons programs and living up to their international obligations.

Of course, we're also deeply concerned about the suffering of the North Korean people, and the United States and South Korea are working together to advance accountability for the serious human rights violations being committed by the North.

I mentioned to President Park that the United States supports the Korean people's desire for unification, and I share President Park's vision -- as you outlined, Madam President, in your recent speech in Dresden -- of "a unified Korea that's free from the fear of war and nuclear weapons." It's a vision of a unified Korea where people throughout this peninsula enjoy the political and economic freedoms that exist here in the South.

Beyond this peninsula, our alliance is increasingly a global one. We're grateful for South Korea's partnership, from typhoon relief in the Philippines to humanitarian efforts in Syria. AS Madam President mentioned, we're working closely on new clean energy technologies to address climate change and with the international community on an ambitious new climate agreement. Around the globe, we're leaders in development, because we want more people to experience the kind of incredible growth and progress that South Korea shows is possible.

And finally, we agreed to continue expanding our extraordinary economic ties. Since we signed our free trade agreement two years ago, our overall bilateral trade has gone up. The United States is exporting more to South Korea, and South Korea is exporting more to the United States, which supports good jobs in both countries. Today, President Park and I discussed how we can make sure that we implement KORUS fully, which would also help ensure that South Korea can eventually meet the high standards of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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