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Joint Communique Following Discussions With President Chun Doo Hwan of the Republic of Korea

February 02, 1981

1. At the invitation of President Ronald W. Reagan, the President of the Republic of Korea and Mrs. Chun Doo Hwan made an official visit to Washington, D.C. from February 1 to 3, 1981.

2. The two Presidents met at the White House on February 2 to exchange views on the current international situation and to discuss matters of mutual interest in an atmosphere of friendship and cordial respect. Chael K. Deaver, and Ambassador William Gleysteen from the American side; and Deputy Prime Minister Shin Byong Hyun, Foreign Minister Lho Shin Yong, Minister of National Defense Choo Yong Bock, Ambassador Kim Yong Shik, and Secretary General to the President Kim Kyong Won from the Korean side.

3. The two Presidents reviewed the world situation and reaffirmed the critical importance of maintaining peace on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia. President Reagan and President Chun pledged to uphold the mutual obligations embodied in the United States-Korea Mutual Defense Treaty of 1954. President Reagan affirmed that the United States, as a Pacific Power, will seek to ensure the peace and security of the region. President Chun expressed his full support for United States policies directed toward these ends and emphasized his view that the United States should continue to exercise firm leadership in world affairs.

4. President Reagan and President Chun reviewed the security situation on the Korean peninsula and the continuing threats to peace in the area. President Reagan assured President Chun that the United States has no plans to withdraw U.S. ground combat forces from the Korean peninsula. The two Presidents pledged to seek to strengthen US-Korean cooperation in deterring and defending against aggression as an indispensable contribution to peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

5. President Chun outlined the continuing efforts of the Republic of Korea to enhance its self-reliant defense capabilities through the modernization of its armed forces. President Reagan commended the Republic of Korea for its significant continuing efforts and confirmed that the United States will make available for sate appropriate weapons systems and defense industry technology necessary for enhancing Korea's capabilities to deter aggression.

6. President Chun was assured of United States support for the efforts of the Republic of Korea to resume a constructive dialogue with North Korea in order to ease tensions and build the framework for peaceful reunification of the peninsula. President Reagan commended President Chun for the far-reaching proposal made on January 12, 1981 calling for an exchange of visits by the Presidents of the South and the North of Korea. President Reagan reaffirmed that the Republic of Korea must be a full participant in any United States negotiation with North Korea. The two Presidents shared the view that any unilateral steps toward North Korea which are not reciprocated toward South Korea by North Korea's principal allies would not be conducive to promoting stability or peace in the area.

7. Noting the strong ties of traditional friendship, alliance, and cooperation which have existed between the United States of America and the Republic of Korea, the two Presidents announced that they would resume immediately the full range of consultations between the two governments.

—US-ROK Security Consultative Meetings will be resumed promptly at a mutually convenient time later this spring.

—Annual U.S.-Korean economic Consultations covering the entire range of our economic relations will resume. The Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs will lead a U.S. delegation to Korea to initiate these consultations before midyear.

—Annual U.S.-Korea policy planning talks will be resumed at a mutually convenient time this year.

8. President Reagan and President Chun expressed their satisfaction at the continuing expansion in the scope of economic relations between the two countries, and agreed to seek to foster a freer international trading system.

9. Presidents Reagan and Chun noted with satisfaction that mutually profitable U.S.-Korea trade had grown dramatically from $531 million in 1970 to $10 billion in 1980, and that the Republic of Korea is now the United States' twelfth largest trading partner. President Reagan emphasized in particular the importance of Korea as the fifth largest market for American agricultural exports. President Chun welcomed the positive response of the United States in meeting Korea's special needs this year for rice imports.

10. The two Presidents reaffirmed the close cooperation of the two countries on energy issues. The United States will seek to assist Korea to obtain energy supplies in the event of an emergency affecting our mutual security interests. Korea will explore long term arrangements for importing American coal. President Reagan promised that the United States would remain a reliable supplier of nuclear fuel, generation equipment and power technology.

11. The two Presidents recognized that there remains a need for further promotion of mutual understanding and exchanges between the two peoples both through private and public channels, and they agreed to an early activation of the Korean-American Cultural Exchange Committee to be funded jointly by the two Governments.

12. President Reagan expressed special appreciation for the significant contribution to the Smithsonian Institution which President Chun presented on behalf of the Korean people for the construction of a new Museum of Eastern Art on the Mall in Washington. This museum will further enhance inter-cultural understanding and appreciation between the people of America and the peoples of Asia.

13. Pledging their mutual efforts to expand international cooperation throughout the Pacific Basin, the two Presidents expressed their intent to maintain close communication with each other and with other friends and allies in Asia. President Chun invited President Reagan to visit the Republic of Korea at a time of his convenience, and President Reagan accepted the invitation with pleasure.

14. President and Mrs. Chun, on behalf of themselves and the members of their party, expressed their deep appreciation to President and Mrs. Reagan and also to the people of the United States for the warmth of their friendly reception and the many courtesies extended to them both during the official visit to Washington and during their visits to other cities during their trip to the United States.

Ronald Reagan, Joint Communique Following Discussions With President Chun Doo Hwan of the Republic of Korea Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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