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Remarks With President Moon Jae-in of South Korea at a Greeting Ceremony for United States and South Korean Servicemembers at Camp Bonifas, South Korea

June 30, 2019

President Moon. I would like to thank you for all your dedication and effort. You are indeed standing at the forefront of the spark where you are safeguarding peace and freedom of the Republic of Korea.

This is actually the first time in history that the President of the Republic of Korea and the President of the United States has visited this demilitarized zone in history.

And today, this afternoon, we have a more dramatic event that awaits us. And I'd like to thank President Trump for making such a bold decision.

And now, the Joint Security Area is being transformed from the symbol of confrontation and hostilities to the symbol of peace. And the—all of you are actually witnesses to this great change. And the very person who has actually brought this great change about is, of course, President Trump. He is the proud President of all of you.

President Trump. So I want to thank you very much. You're a very special group of people. I just look at you, look how healthy and how strong and how good. And we really appreciate it. We appreciate it very much.

So this was a scheduled visit from a number of months ago. We went from the G-20, and I promised your President, President Moon, who is a friend of mine—I said, "We have to see the DMZ." And so this was scheduled for a long time ago.

And then yesterday I had the idea, "Maybe I'll call Chairman Kim and see if he wants to say hello." So we didn't give him much notice, but we've become—we respect each other. We respect each other. Maybe even like each other. And he's agreed to meet. And I'm going to meet him in about 4 minutes. So I'm going to cut my speech a little bit short, other than to say you are terrific people. You've done a fantastic job. And we're with you all the way. You know that.

What do you have over there? What do you—that looks good. [Laughter]

U.S. Forces Korea Commander General Robert B. "Abe" Abrams, USA. Yes. [Laughter] Mr. President, we have a small token of appreciation in recognition of your visit here in the Republic of Korea. We're grateful for your leadership—you and President Moon—and all that you do for the R.O.K.-U.S. alliance. And so we have a small token of appreciation.

Everyone knows you're a golfer. And there's some golfers in the room.

President Trump. Oh? Who's a golfer? Huh? [Laughter]

Gen. Abrams. So we got you a—we're hopeful—I know you get a lot of gifts, but we're hoping that this one is one that might find some utility for you on one of your golf courses. So it's got your name stenciled on there. It's got all three of our commands: United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and U.S. Forces Korea.

President Trump. I'll use it.

Gen. Abrams. And of course, this is the most important thing, because our motto here in Korea is, "We Go Together"—Katchi kapshida. And so we'll hope that when you wear this on the golf course, that you'll think about the strength and the enduring nature of our R.O.K.-U.S. alliance. President Trump. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Gen. Abrams. Mr. President, thank you very much.

President Trump. I'll be thinking about you. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. That's great.

U.N. Command Security Battalion-Joint Security Area Commander Lieutenant Colonel Sean M. Morrow, USA. At this point, we're going to actually have you shake a couple hands of some of our heroes.

[At this point, President Trump and President Moon greeted U.S. and South Korean servicemembers.]

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 3:20 p.m. in a dining facility at Camp Bonifas. President Moon spoke in Korean, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks With President Moon Jae-in of South Korea at a Greeting Ceremony for United States and South Korean Servicemembers at Camp Bonifas, South Korea Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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