George W. Bush photo

Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea in Seoul, South Korea

August 06, 2008

President Lee. Mr. President, Mrs. Bush, as well as your lovely daughter, Barbara Bush, I would like to welcome you from the bottom of our hearts. Yes, well, Mr. President, the majority of the Korean people have been eagerly waiting for your visit to Korea this time, and as you saw yesterday, there were many people who gathered together to welcome your visit to Korea.

President Bush. Thank you.

President Lee. And also, Mr. President, yesterday in the lawn in front of the Seoul City Hall, there were many people gathered there, thousands of people gathered, who came together to pray, not only for your visit, but also for the future of the Korea-U.S. relationship as well.

And of course, behind those people, there were those who were sort of opposed. [Laughter] But, however, the number was minimal, sir.

President Bush. Thank you.

President Lee. Yes, well, Mr. President, I don't need to reiterate the fact that Korea and the United States, we are traditional allies and friends for many, many years. And also, it's been only a little over 5 months since I assumed the Presidency, but today is already our third meeting, Mr. President. So officially, but as well as personally, I have deep friendship for you and for the people of America, and I believe in the future of the Korea-U.S. relationship.

And as you saw, Mr. President, the weather today is beautiful. We had rain coming—torrential rain coming up until about 2 days ago. Thank you.

President Bush. Thank you, sir. Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. Laura and I are delighted to be with you and Mrs. Kim again. Ours is a vital relationship. And our three meetings will only strengthen the relationship. I admire your forthrightness, your integrity, and your deep love for the people of Korea.

And I enjoy coming to a free society, where people are able to express their opinions. And your country is a free society. So thank you. I'm looking forward to our conversations. Thank you, sir.

NOTE: The President spoke at 9:46 a.m. at the Blue House. In his remarks, he referred to Kim Yoon-ok, wife of President Lee.

George W. Bush, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea in Seoul, South Korea Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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