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Remarks by the Vice President and Republic of Korea Prime Minister Chung Hungwon in a Bilateral Meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea

December 06, 2013

PRIME MINISTER CHUNG: (As interpreted) Mr. Vice President, on behalf of all of the Korean people, I would like to welcome you to Korea.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, on behalf of President Obama, thank you for welcoming me. (Laughter.)

PRIME MINISTER CHUNG: This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Korea-U.S. alliance. And as you come to Korea as we end this year, I believe that we will be able to further solidify our alliance. And it also shows that we have a very bright future ahead.

I know that you worked in the legal -- you had a legal career.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Yes, very briefly. (Applause.)

PRIME MINISTER CHUNG: And your wife was a teacher, and your son was an attorney general. I myself used to be a teacher before I became an attorney general. And that is why I believe we have a very close affinity.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I believe that as well.

PRIME MINISTER CHUNG: I look forward to a very pleasant conversation with you, and I look forward to a very constructive meeting today.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, I look forward to it as well. And as I wrote in your book, 60 years of incredible friendship and progress produced the Miracle on the Han. I think that the next 60 years will produce the Miracle in the Pacific Basin.

This is an alliance born out of blood, sweat and tears of our warriors -- yours and ours. And now the incredible friendship of the Korean and American people, it's (inaudible).

I'm even more convinced about it after addressing 1,600 students at the university and seeing those bright eyes and eager faces and keen intellects. And I'm confident about the future of our relationship.

Although I haven't practiced law in many years, I did teach at an American law school for 20 years. And I've come to realize that teaching is more difficult. My wife, Dr. Biden, is the first person in American history to occupy the office of Second Lady and continue to teach full time. She teaches 15 credits a semester at the university as I speak. She often reminds me I have one full-time job, she has two. (Laughter.)

But I'm looking forward to the conversation.

PRIME MINISTER CHUNG: I know that you delivered a very insightful speech in Yonsai University. The past 60 years of our alliance was built by us, the previous generation. But the next 60 years will depend on the younger generation, and I believe it is very meaningful that you are able to deliver a very heart-touching speech.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, I'm optimistic. I really am. It's not a political contrivance. I am truly optimistic about the possibilities that we have.

The world we all operate in today is fundamentally different than it was even 10 years. And that's not hyperbole. It is fundamentally different. Times of change present great challenges, but it's the only time of great opportunity.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks by the Vice President and Republic of Korea Prime Minister Chung Hungwon in a Bilateral Meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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