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Seoul, Republic of Korea Joint Communiqué Issued at the Conclusion of Meetings With President Park.

July 01, 1979

1. At the invitation of President Park Chung Hee, President of the United States of America and Mrs. Jimmy Carter made a state visit to the Republic of Korea from June 29 to July 1, 1979. In addition to consultations with President Park and other senior officials, and meetings with other prominent Korean leaders in Seoul, President Carter visited field installations of both the United States and Korean armed forces.

2. The two Presidents met at the Blue House on June 30 and July 1, 1979 to review United States-Korea relations and a variety of subjects of vital mutual interest in an atmosphere of cordial respect and confidence. Among those present at these meetings were Prime Minister Choi Kyu Hah, Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Tong Jin, Minister of National Defense Ro Jay Hyun, Presidential Secretary-General Kim Kae Won, and Ambassador Kim Yong Shik from the Korean side, and Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance, Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke and Ambassador William H. Gleysteen from the United States side.

3. President Carter outlined the policies of his Government to seek peace and the reduction of tensions around the world, including his efforts to promote a lasting peace in the Middle East and to reach agreement with the Soviet Union on limitation of strategic weapons. President Park endorsed these peace efforts and emphasized his view that the United States should continue to demonstrate its firm leadership wherever challenges to peace occurred.

4. The two Presidents reviewed the events which have significantly altered the recent political face of Asia. Among these were the normalization of Sino-American relations and the signing of the Peace and Friendship Treaty between Tokyo and Beijing. They noted that armed conflicts in Southeast Asia and the Indochina refugee problem are creating major difficulties affecting the entire region, and agreed that there is a need to prevent the extension of these conflicts to other countries. President Carter reaffirmed that the United States as a Pacific power is vitally engaged in Asia and the Pacific and will continue its best efforts to ensure the peace and security of the region.

5. On the Indochina refugee problem, President Carter outlined the discussions at the Tokyo Summit and steps being taken by the United States and other countries to deal with the situation. He stressed the need for all nations to make the maximum effort possible, whether by resettlement, financial contributions, or temporary shelter. President Park, noting the serious situation both in terms of individual human suffering and destabilizing impact on the directly affected nations in Southeast Asia, stated that the Government of the Republic of Korea would make an additional grant of a considerable sum to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

6. President Carter, referring to the basic relations between the United States and the Republic of Korea, noted the existence of strong bonds of friendship and cooperation and assured President Park that the United States will continue to support the efforts of the Government of the Republic of Korea to maintain peace and stability in Korea and sustain economic and social development. President Carter stressed the solidarity that exists between the United States and the Republic of Korea as traditional allies.


7. The two Presidents reaffirmed the importance which the United States and Korea attach to the reciprocal commitments contained in the United States-Republic of Korea Mutual Defense Treaty of 1954. They also agreed that the continued security of the Republic of Korea is pivotal to the preservation of peace and stability in the northeast Asian region. President Park reviewed the security situation on the peninsula and the continuing threat to peace posed by the North Korean military build-up. The two Presidents agreed that US-ROK cooperation in maintaining a high degree of strength and combat readiness to deter and defend against possible aggression was an important contribution to peace and stability. They noted that the activation last November of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command had enhanced the effectiveness of the joint defense cooperation between military authorities of the two countries. President Carter reiterated the firm commitment of the United States to render prompt and effective assistance to repel armed attack against the Republic of Korea in accordance with the Mutual Defense Treaty, and affirmed that the United States nuclear umbrella provided additional security for the area.

8. President Carter expressed his appreciation for the full consultations between the two Presidents and their Defense Ministers on security issues and said that he would be consulting with U.S. congressional leaders on his return in the light of these detailed discussions. President Carter reaffirmed the deep interest of the United States in preventing any destabilization of the peninsula or region and assured President Park in connection with the question of further withdrawal of American ground combat forces from Korea that the United States will continue to maintain an American military presence in the Republic of Korea to ensure peace and security.

9. President Park reviewed the extensive and continuing efforts of the Republic of Korea to modernize and enhance its self-reliant defense capabilities and the progress achieved in the first five-year Force Improvement Plan which is nearing completion. President Carter expressed United States agreement with the objectives of the force improvement program and reaffirmed the readiness of the United States to continue to support the successful implementation of the program. President Carter assured President Park that the United States will continue to make available for sale to Korea appropriate weapons systems and defense industry technology necessary for enhancing Korea's ability to deter or defeat aggression and for the development of appropriate defense industries in the Republic of Korea.



10. The two Presidents agreed on the priority need to continue the search for means to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. President Park explained the recent efforts of the Republic of Korea government, beginning with his initiative of January 19, 1979, to resume productive dialogue with North Korean authorities. President Carter assured President Park of United States support for these efforts and expressed the hope that meetings between the responsible authorities of the South and the North of Korea would become possible.

11. In view of the importance of this issue for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in the region, and as a testament to the personal commitment of the two Presidents to seek honorable means to promote dialogue and reduce tensions, President Park and President Carter have decided jointly to propose the convening of a meeting of senior official representatives of the South and the North of Korea and the United States to seek means to promote dialogue and reduce tensions in the area. In order to promote this effort and to prepare for the meeting which it is hoped can be arranged, the two Presidents have directed the Foreign Minister and the Secretary of State to communicate jointly with the Foreign Minister of North Korea in this regard in an appropriate manner.

12. The two Presidents agreed that any arrangements that would reduce tension and establish lasting peace leading ultimately to the peaceful unification of the Korean people should result from dialogue between the two responsible authorities of both the South and the North of Korea. President Park noted the consistency with which the Republic of Korea has pursued efforts at dialogue and the reduction of tensions, as exemplified in the policies which he announced on June 23, 1973.

13. President Carter stated that, if and when North Korea's principal allies are prepared to expand relationships with the Republic of Korea, the United States is prepared to take similar steps with North Korea. President Carter also noted that unilateral steps toward North Korea which are not reciprocated toward the Republic of Korea by North Korea's principal allies do not improve stability or promote peace in the area.

14. The two Presidents shared the view that the admission of both the South and the North of Korea to the United Nations as an interim measure pending their eventual unification would provide authorities of both Korean parties with broader opportunities for dialogue aimed at the resolution of their differences.


15. The two Presidents noted the importance to all nations of respect for internationally recognized human rights. President Carter expressed the hope that the process of political growth in the Republic of Korea would continue commensurate with the economic and social growth of the Korean nation. In this connection, President Park explained his view on this matter together with the current unique circumstances confronting the Republic of Korea.


16. President Carter expressed to President Park his great admiration for Korea's remarkable record of achievement in sustained economic development over the past fifteen years under his leadership in the face of various obstacles and adverse conditions, thus offering a model and an inspiration for other countries as an example of economic growth and equity. President Park acknowledged with appreciation the United States' contribution to Korea's development in the economic, scientific, and technological areas, and affirmed his intention to continue to give high priority to economic and social goals. The two Presidents shared the view that possible cooperative efforts between the two Governments should be explored to enhance assistance to third countries.

17. President Park and President Carter also reviewed the current international economic situation, and President Carter reported on the discussions at the Seven-Nation Economic Summit just completed in Tokyo. President Park expressed concern about the world energy problem in particular, and the two Presidents shared the view that there is an urgent need for concerted international efforts to arrive at a reasonable solution to the problem.

18. The two Presidents expressed satisfaction at the rapid expansion in scope of the economic relations between the Republic of Korea and the United States, and confidence that this mutually beneficial trend will continue. They noted the advantages which accrue to the people of both nations when the freest possible system of trade exists, and they pledged their mutual efforts to promote and preserve an open world trading system. President Carter noted the commendably progressive import-liberalization and other measures that the Government of the Republic of Korea had recently taken with a view to developing a more balanced trade with the United States. These actions and the recent buying mission to the United States will help promote export of American products to Korea. President Park expressed his hope that the United States would continue its efforts to promote, in the MTN and elsewhere, a freer trading system, and to preserve fair access to the United States market for Korean goods. The two Presidents agreed that further efforts to expand trade and economic cooperation between their two countries will be highly beneficial to their respective peoples.


19. Noting that their meeting had deepened understanding and cooperation on many matters of mutual interest, the two Presidents recognized that, at a time when the Republic of Korea and the United States have entered into a new era of mature partnership based on mutual respect and confidence, there remains need for further promotion of mutual understanding and exchanges between the two peoples. As evidence of their joint desire to deepen the contact and understanding between the two nations, the two Presidents agreed that cultural and educational exchanges should be expanded. The two Governments agreed to enhance these exchanges by supporting the activities of organizations such as the Korean-American Educational Commission and to establish a Korean-American Cultural Exchange Committee to be funded jointly by the two Governments. The Committee would be designed to stimulate activities in both countries aimed at further mutual understanding and to endorse mutually agreed programs of this nature. Details will be worked out through diplomatic channels.

20. President and Mrs. Carter, on behalf of themselves and all the members of their party, expressed their deepest thanks to President Park and the people of the Republic of Korea for the warmth of their reception and the courtesies extended to them during the visit.

21. President Carter cordially invited President Park to visit the United States of America, and President Park accepted the invitation with pleasure. They agreed that the visit would take place at a time of mutual convenience. Both Presidents expressed their desire to maintain close personal contact in order to preserve and further cultivate the close partnership existing between their two countries.

Jimmy Carter, Seoul, Republic of Korea Joint Communiqué Issued at the Conclusion of Meetings With President Park. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/249281

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