Bill Clinton photo

Remarks at a State Dinner in Seoul

July 10, 1993

President and Mrs. Kim, distinguished guests: First let me, on behalf of my wife and all the Americans here present, thank you for the warm hospitality we have already received. I had a very fine meeting today with President Kim and then had the opportunity to be the guest of the Speaker at the National Assembly.

Tonight we celebrate the warm friendship between our two nations. Forty-three years ago America and the Republic of Korea joined forces to preserve freedom on the peninsula. The times then were perilous, and few could have imagined just how successful those efforts would be. Your nation's remarkable development has made Korea a model today for other nations seeking to join the ranks of the developed world. And your rising prosperity is now complemented in the leadership of President Kim by a second "miracle on the Han," the flowering of democracy. President Kim, you have been an eloquent voice for democracy when democracy was not an easy thing to advocate. Your values and your valor have led the people of Korea to a new level of freedom.

And so I come, along with our party, to Korea to discuss, in the spirit of friendship, the challenges that lie ahead; to continue a dedicated partnership between our two peoples; to affirm our resolute commitment to Korea's security; and to begin a personal partnership with you, Mr. President, which I know will flourish in the years ahead.

In our separate Inaugural Addresses, Mr. President, we each invoked the image of a season of rebirth. You heralded the hope of a new spring, and I suggested a new spring of hope. Now as we enter the summer months, let us celebrate the meeting of our minds and rejoice in the warm friendship between America and Korea.

With great respect, I ask everyone here to join me in a toast to you, Mr. President, and to the Republic of Korea for peace, for democracy, for eventual unification, and for continued prosperity.

NOTE: The President spoke at 8:45 p.m. at the Blue House.

William J. Clinton, Remarks at a State Dinner in Seoul Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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