WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement welcoming to the United States the President of the Republic of Korea, Park Guen-hye:


“I want to extend a warm welcome to the President of the Republic of Korea, Park Geun-hye, as she visits Washington, D.C. this week.


“The alliance between the United States and Korea is founded, first and foremost, on our shared values of democracy and our belief in the rule of law.  The U.S.-Korea alliance is also a critical aspect of the security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region and continues to grow and expand.  Our partnership defends against the threat of an increasingly belligerent and unpredictable North Korean regime, which threatens stability on the Peninsula through its rogue nuclear program and dangerous with conventional and cyber capabilities. The Republic of Korea remains our close friend and ally in this most sensitive and serious endeavor, and we should strive to take our security partnership to new levels in the coming years.


“Korea and the United States have also cooperated closely in the development of our civilian nuclear programs for more than 50 years. Recently, our countries have been negotiating a new Nuclear Cooperation Agreement to upgrade and replace the previous accord. Today, the Korea 123 Agreement is under review in Congress. I look forward to its passage and our continued work in this important area.


“A robust economic relationship between the U.S. and Korea remains an important aspect of our cooperation.  The Republic of Korea is the United States’ sixth largest trading partner, and during President Park’s tenure, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement has come into force. 


“The U.S.-Korea alliance and the multifaceted ties between our two peoples will surely grow deeper as we continue to work together on myriad issues of common concern. I once again welcome President Park to Washington with my best wishes for a successful visit.”