Joint Statement Following Meetings With President Chun Doo Hwan of the Republic of Korea
November 14, 1983 1. At the invitation of President Chun Doo Hwan, the President of the United States and Mrs. Ronald W. Reagan paid a state visit to the Republic of Korea from November 12 to 14, 1983. The two Presidents met at the Blue House on November 12 and again on November 13 for discussions of both bilateral and world affairs. The talks were held in a most cordial and open atmosphere.
President Reagan addressed the National Assembly, visited field installations of both the Korean and the United States Armed Forces, and also met with senior Korean officials, other Korean citizens, and a group of American businessmen.
2. President Chun expressed his appreciation to President Reagan for America's steadfast support in the wake of the tragedies which the people of Korea have endured so recently: the September 1 Soviet attack on a Korean civil airliner, and the October 9 North Korean terrorist attack in Burma which tragically claimed the lives of 17 innocent Koreans, among them many of the nation's most important leaders in economics, diplomacy, and politics.
Both Presidents noted the thorough and conclusive investigation by the Government of Burma of the Rangoon bomb atrocity, which has produced unequivocal evidence that the North Korean regime perpetrated this deliberate act of state terrorism. They agreed that such acts cannot be tolerated, and called for effective international sanctions against North Korea. President Reagan affirmed his admiration for the resolution and courage of the Korean people and their leaders in the face of these barbaric acts.
President Chun expressed his condolences to President Reagan and the American people on the tragic loss of life caused by the October 23 attack on the United States Marine Barracks in Beirut. President Chun and President Reagan joined in declaring the unswerving opposition of the Korean and American peoples to such acts of terrorism, and pledged continued efforts to remove the scourge of terrorism from the earth.
3. The two Heads of State exchanged views on a variety of international issues of mutual concern. President Reagan outlined United States determination to strengthen the defenses of the United States and its allies around the world, to bring about a reduction of tensions in volatile regions such as the Middle East, and to reach an agreement with the Soviet Union to reduce the global deployment of strategic weapons.
President Chun explained in detail the overall security situation on the Korean peninsula with particular reference to the continuing threat from North Korea, reflected in its military buildup and aggravated by its domestic problems.
Both Presidents reaffirmed the importance of maintaining deterrence and stability on the Korean peninsula, thereby ensuring peace there and in Northeast Asia, a region of critical strategic significance.
President Reagan stated that the United States would continue to fulfill its role and responsibilities as a Pacific power, dedicated to maintaining peace and stability in the region. President Chun avowed his full support for these efforts.
4. In particular, President Reagan, noting that the security of the Republic of Korea is pivotal to the peace and stability of Northeast Asia and in turn, vital to the security of the United States, reaffirmed the continuing strong commitment of the United States to the security of the Republic of Korea. The two Presidents pledged to uphold the obligations embodied in the Republic of Korea-United States Mutual Defense Treaty signed in 1953, noting the success of that alliance in deterring aggression for more than thirty years.
President Reagan stressed that the United States would continue to maintain United States forces in Korea and to strengthen their capabilities. President Chun reaffirmed his support for the presence in Korea of American military forces as part of the United Nations and Combined Forces Commands.
President Reagan noted that Korea spends six percent of its GNP on defense and further noted the efforts of the Republic of Korea to modernize and upgrade its defense capabilities. The two Presidents concurred that this program is essential if peace is to be maintained. President Reagan reconfirmed that the United States will continue to make available the weapons systems and technology necessary to enhance the strength of Korea's armed forces.
5. President Chun explained the Korean government's continuing efforts for the resumption of dialogue between South and North Korea and its policy for peaceful reunification with a view to easing tensions on the Korean peninsula, and achieving the Korean people's long-cherished aspiration for peaceful reunification. Expressing support of the United States for the sincere and patient efforts of the Republic of Korea, President Reagan especially noted President Chun's comprehensive Proposal for Democratic Reunification through National Reconciliation put forth on January 22, 1982.
President Reagan reconfirmed that the United States would not undertake talks with North Korea without full and equal participation of the Republic of Korea. The two Presidents reaffirmed that any unilateral steps toward North Korea which are not reciprocated toward the Republic of Korea by North Korea's principal allies would not be conducive to promoting stability or peace in the area.
6. President Reagan expressed his admiration and support for the expanding and increasingly active international diplomacy of the Republic of Korea, and took note of the determination of the Republic of Korea to pursue an open door policy of dialogue with all nations.
The two Presidents noted the significance of their respective nation's role as the hosts to important global gatherings and events, including the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984 and the Seoul Olympics of 1988. Both countries will abide by their commitments to admit representatives of all nations to participate in these international events.
7. Recognizing the growing importance of the Asia-Pacific region and also the growing sense of community among the Pacific rim countries, the two Presidents agreed that frequent exchanges at all levels among the nations of the Pacific are necessary to enhance regional cohesion. They also agreed that multilateral relations among the countries in the region should be further strengthened in the fields of trade, finance, science, technology, culture, and tourism.
8. The two Presidents expressed their belief that the Republic of Korea should be accepted in the United Nations pursuant to the principle of universality of the U.N. and that the entry of the Republic of Korea to the U.N. would contribute both to the reduction of tensions on the Korean peninsula and the maintenance of international peace. President Reagan promised continuing support for the entry of the Republic of Korea into the U.N.
9. The two Presidents affirmed the importance of defending and strengthening freedom and the institutions that serve freedom, openness, and political stability.
10. President Chun and President Reagan exchanged views on a range of economic issues. They noted the importance of ensuring that global economic recovery not be hindered by reversion to protectionism. In particular, President Reagan welcomed the trade liberalization measures being undertaken and planned by the Korean government, despite its continuing deficit in foreign trade and the global trend of protectionism. Both Presidents agreed that such steps are an example of the positive actions all trading nations must take to defend the world trade system against protectionist attacks and recognized an urgent need for concerted international efforts in this direction.
Both Presidents noted with satisfaction the continued expansion of bilateral trade, which totaled over $11 billion in 1982, making the Republic of Korea one of the United States' most important trading partners and fifth largest market for United States agricultural products, and the United States the Republic of Korea's largest trading partner in exports as well as imports. They agreed that this continued growth of bilateral trade attests to the vitality of U.S.-Korean economic relations.
President Chun also expressed his appreciation for President Reagan's strong commitment to free trade and hoped that the Republic of Korea's major export commodities will be given greater access to the United States market with the continuation of the Republic of Korea's eligibility for GSP benefits on a non-discriminatory basis. President Reagan took note of President Chun's views on these issues. In this regard, both Presidents recognized the necessity of coordinated actions by their respective governments to reduce various tariff and non-tariff barriers.
11. President Chun explained the recent efforts by the Korean government to create a more favorable environment for foreign investment in the Republic of Korea and invited the United States to take advantage of such improved opportunities. Both Presidents noted that a hospitable climate for foreign investors in both countries will continue to contribute to the flow of technology and to an expansion of employment opportunities in the Republic of Korea and the United States. Both Presidents also noted that the continued participation of American firms in the Republic of Korea's major development projects by providing competitively-priced and high-quality goods and services is another indication of the strong and cooperative economic ties that link the Republic of Korea and the United States.
12. President Chun and President Reagan discussed prospects for further broadening cooperation in the fields of technology and energy. They agreed to further promote programs for scientific and technological cooperation.
President Reagan assured President Chun that the United States will remain a reliable supplier of energy resources and energy technology, and in particular, that the United States will seek to assist the Republic of Korea to obtain stable energy supplies in the event of a security emergency. In this regard, President Reagan noted positively the Korean government's efforts to build up energy reserves for economic emergencies. President Chun expressed his appreciation for the United States' pledge, and the Republic of Korea's interest in the purchase and development of energy resources in the United States.
13. President Chun and President Reagan took note of the strong and myriad bonds of friendship and cooperation that have linked the United States and the Republic of Korea in the post-war era, and judged those ties to be in excellent condition. As one reflection of the expanding scope and importance of those relationships, President Reagan informed President Chun of the intention of the United States to establish in the near future a consulate in Pusan, Korea's second greatest city and a focal point of the U.S.-Korean economic intercourse. President Chun welcomed that decision.
President Chun and President Reagan pledged to carry forward the full range of security, political, economic, scientific and cultural meetings and consultations on our joint agenda, in order to maintain and deepen our already excellent relations in those diverse fields.
14. The two Presidents underscored the necessity for the promotion of mutual understanding and exchanges between the Korean and American peoples, and agreed to work toward expanded cultural and educational exchanges. The two Presidents expressed their satisfaction with the promotion of American studies in the Republic of Korea as well as of Korean studies in the United States.
15. President and Mrs. Reagan expressed their deep appreciation to President and Mrs. Chun for the warm welcome they received in the Republic of Korea, and their heartfelt thanks to the people of the Republic of Korea for the hospitality, graciousness and good will they had been shown.
The two Presidents agreed that exchanges of visits between the two Presidents have contributed to the further development of the existing friendly relations between the two countries. In that context, President Reagan asked President Chun to visit Washington again at a mutually convenient time, and President Chun accepted that invitation with appreciation.