News / Asia

South Korean President Addresses US Congress, Stresses Strong Alliance

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak speaks to a joint meeting of Congress as Vice President Joe Biden (L) left, and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) look on at the Capitol in Washington, October 13, 2011.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak speaks to a joint meeting of Congress as Vice President Joe Biden (L) left, and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) look on at the Capitol in Washington, October 13, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +
Cindy Saine

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has addressed a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress and was warmly received by both Democratic and Republican members of the House and the Senate. He stressed the strong economic ties the two countries share and the mutual defense alliance they forged 58 years ago to the day Thursday.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner introduced South Korean President Lee to a full chamber of enthusiastic lawmakers.

"Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and the distinct honor of presenting to you His Excellency Lee Myung Bak, President of the Republic of Korea," said Boehner.

The South Korean president was quick to thank both houses of Congress for passing a major trade agreement with South Korea Wednesday night, in a rare display of bipartisanship. He spoke through an interpreter.

"And I am particularly grateful to the leadership of both parties, and to all the esteemed members of Congress for their support in ratifying the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement last night, in a swift manner, in a swift manner that I am told is quite unprecedented," said Lee.

Congress also passed free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama that had been negotiated five years ago. President Lee cited experts he said predict that U.S. economic output will grow more from the free trade agreement with South Korea than with Americas' last nine free trade agreements combined.

The South Korean leader got a standing ovation when he thanked all those U.S. servicemen currently serving in South Korea, as well as all the veterans of the Korean War, including several current members of Congress.

Earlier in the day, Lee held a joint news conference with President Barack Obama, and both leaders agreed that they remain united in their approach to Communist North Korea. Lee said a united Korea would be a threat to no one.

"We therefore must achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. [Applause] And North Korea must give up their nuclear ambitions."

Lee spoke about his two siblings who died as children in the Korean War, and about the fact that he was imprisoned for his political activities for democracy in the 1960's. Over and over again, he stressed that South Korea and the United States share the same democratic ideals and aspirations for peace and stability.

On Friday, Lee is to accompany Obama on a visit to a General Motors car plant in the U.S. city of Detroit. Obama has said he would like to see Koreans driving U.S.-built cars the way many Americans drive Korean cars.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid