Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the below statement following House Speaker John Boehner’s announcement that Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye will address a joint meeting of Congress on May 8:

“I am delighted that President Park Guen-hye will have the opportunity to address a joint meeting of Congress.  I greatly appreciate Speaker Boehner extending this invitation to President Park.  America’s close relationship with South Korea, forged 60-years ago during the dark days of the Korean War, remains strong and vibrant to this very day.  On the 60th Anniversary of the Armistice of the Korean War, I believe it is only fitting to bestow this high honor to Northeast Asia’s first elected female head of state.  I worked closely with the Speaker on the joint meeting following my visit to South Korea where I met with then-President-elect Park.  I share her commitment to the U.S.-Republic of Korea partnership, and I am confident that she will work to deepen economic and defense cooperation between our two countries with a shared belief in freedom and democracy.  As the threat from the belligerent North Korean regime continues, a strong relationship is critical.  I look forward to welcoming a good friend of the United States to Congress in May.”

NOTE: Earlier this year, Chairman Royce led a bipartisan delegation (his first overseas trip as Chairman) to the Republic of Korea to meet with then-President-elect Park Geun-hye and members of Korean National Assembly. A long-time friend of South Korea, Chairman Royce was one of the leading champions of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.