Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Joint Statement Following Discussions With Prime Minister Chung of Korea.

March 14, 1967

PRIME MINISTER I1 Kwon Chung of the Republic of Korea arrived in Washington on March 14 at the invitation of President Johnson. The President and the Prime Minister met on March 14 and exchanged views on matters of mutual concern to the two governments. Also present were Minister of National Defense Sung Eun Kim, Minister of Commerce and Industry Chung Hun Park, Secretary General to the President Hu Rak Lee, Ambassador Hyun Chul Kim, Under Secretary of State Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, Special Assistant to the President Walt W. Rostow, and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Samuel D. Berger. The Prime Minister brought with him a personal message to President Johnson from President Park Chung Hee.

President Johnson extended his congratulations to President Park on the remarkable progress achieved by the Korean people in recent years and the encouraging prospects for continued progress in various fields of national life in Korea.

President Johnson expressed the continuing admiration of the American people for the courage and prowess of the Korean forces on the field of battle in Vietnam and for their effective endeavors to promote the welfare of the Vietnamese populace. President Johnson indicated the importance he attaches to the combat capabilities of these forces and the steps being taken to strengthen these capabilities further with improved equipment. The Prime Minister stated his impressions of the current situation in Vietnam gained during his recent visit there. The President and the Prime Minister agreed that efforts to bring about a just and lasting peace must be constantly pursued but reaffirmed the determination of their two governments to continue vigorously the military struggle in Vietnam until the North Vietnamese are willing to enter into meaningful negotiations for peace. They affirmed that their two governments would continue to act in closest consultation on both these matters. Recalling that the United States Government has pledged to give special support to the Government of the Republic of Vietnam on peaceful development, including the latter government's revolutionary development programs, and that the Government of the Republic of Vietnam has requested the Korean Government to render assistance for the same programs, President Johnson and Prime Minister Chung agreed that their two governments will, in close consultation and coordination among themselves and with the Government of Vietnam, jointly render cooperation and assistance to the successful implementation of the peaceful development activities including the Government of Vietnam's revolutionary development program.

The President and the Prime Minister reviewed the recent series of incidents on land and sea in and near the Demilitarized Zone in Korea in which both ROK and U.S. units have suffered casualties from unprovoked attacks by North Korean forces. They agreed on the need for maintaining constant vigilance against the threat of renewed aggression against the Republic of Korea. They further agreed that in view of this continuing threat modernization of the Korean armed forces should be continued as rapidly as legislative and budgetary limitations will permit. President Johnson reaffirmed the readiness and determination of the United States to render prompt and effective assistance to defeat an armed attack against the Republic of Korea, in accordance with the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1954. President Johnson assured Prime Minister Chung that the United States would continue to support the Korean armed forces at levels adequate to ensure Korea's security.

Prime Minister Chung reviewed his government's economic objective, as set forth in its Second Five Year Economic Development Plan. President Johnson expressed the admiration of the American people for the striking progress made by the Korean Government and people during recent years in increasing gross national product, industrial output, agricultural production, exports, and domestic revenues. President Johnson reaffirmed to Prime Minister Chung his previous assurances that the United States would continue to support the economic growth of the Republic of Korea, and in particular, to assist in the achievement of the goals of the second Five Year Plan. Further development loans will constitute one form of such support. He noted also that a consultative group of friendly governments, including the United States, and international lending institutions has been formed to coordinate the provision of development funds to the Republic of Korea.

Prime Minister Chung expressed gratification over the imminent visit of the private trade and investment mission to Korea under the leadership of Mr. George W. Ball. He assured President Johnson that the trade mission would be warmly welcomed in Korea, in keeping with the desire of both governments to expand trade between the two nations and to promote American private investment in Korea. President Johnson reaffirmed the United States Government interest in furthering the growth of trade between the Republic of Korea and the United States and stressed the importance of periodic meetings between appropriate United States officials and their Korean counterparts. It was agreed that the Minister of Commerce and Industry and the Secretary of Commerce meet annually for this purpose. He also assured the Prime Minister that the United States would cooperate with the Republic of Korea to bring promptly to the attention of American private business interests the opportunities and possibilities for investment in Korea, both through commercial loans and joint business ventures.

President Johnson and Prime Minister Chung reaffirmed the conviction of their two governments that existing regional organizations and institutions in the Pacific area should be strengthened and developed, with the ultimate objective of creating a new Pacific Community, open to all nations prepared to live at peace and to cooperate and work for the welfare of the people of Asia and the Pacific, as agreed by Presidents Johnson and Park in their joint statement in Seoul in November, 1966. President Johnson and Prime Minister Chung recalled the goals of freedom as declared by the seven heads of state at Manila last October and Prince Minister Chung reaffirmed the determination of the government of the Republic of Korea to continue its efforts towards accelerating the growth of a Pacific Community. President Johnson expressed appreciation for the initiative and important contributions made by the Republic of Korea in the evolution of the Pacific Community. He stressed the importance of solidarity and mutual support among the countries in the region and expressed the readiness of the United States Government to play its part in developing the Pacific Community.

President Johnson and Prime Minister Chung reaffirmed the strong ties of friendship and mutual interest between the Republic of Korea and the United States and pledged themselves anew to the maintenance and strengthening of those ties and to continued cooperation between their two governments in the economic, political, and military fields.

On behalf of the members of his party and the Korean people, Prime Minister Chung expressed his deepest appreciation to President Johnson for the warm reception and for the hospitality extended to him by President Johnson and the United States.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Joint Statement Following Discussions With Prime Minister Chung of Korea. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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