United States-Republic of Korea Leaders’ Joint statement
Updated: May 22
The following is the full text of the U.S.-Korea Presidents' joint statement made during President Biden's visit to Korea. It embraces key industrial cooperation initiatives that the previous Korean government took, such as cybersecurity, third generation industrial cooperation for joint R&D and production, and the reciprocal defense procurement (RDP) agreement. It potentially creates enormous opportunities for industrial cooperation between U.S. and Korean companies, which is the focus of Delta One.
May 21, 2022
President Yoon Suk Yeol welcomes President Joseph R. Biden to the Republic of Korea (ROK), marking the earliest meeting in a ROK President’s term in office with the President of the United States (U.S.). Founded in our shared sacrifice and honed by our deep security ties, the Alliance between the Republic of Korea and the United States continues to evolve and expand. The linchpin for peace and prosperity in the region, the Alliance has grown far beyond the Korean peninsula, reflecting the pivotal role of our countries as global leaders in democracy, economy, and technology. Faced with existential challenges like climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, and growing threats to the rules-based international order, foremost among which is Russia’s further aggression against Ukraine, the Republic of Korea and the United States are unified in common determination to deepen and broaden our political, economic, security, and people-to-people ties.
The two Presidents deeply appreciate the recent accomplishments of the Alliance and pledge to continue building off of its rock solid foundation.
The Linchpin for Peace and Prosperity
President Yoon and President Biden reaffirm their mutual commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and the combined defense posture under the ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty. President Biden affirms the U.S. extended deterrence commitment to the ROK using the full range of U.S. defense capabilities, including nuclear, conventional, and missile defense capabilities. The two Presidents also agree to reactivate the high-level Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group at the earliest date. Both leaders commit to further strengthen deterrence by reinforcing combined defense posture, and reiterate commitment to a conditions-based transition of wartime operational control. With this in mind, and considering the evolving threat posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), both leaders agree to initiate discussions to expand the scope and scale of combined military exercises and training on and around the Korean Peninsula. Both leaders also reaffirm the commitment of the U.S. to deploy strategic U.S. military assets in a timely and coordinated manner as necessary, as well as to enhance such measures and identify new or additional steps to reinforce deterrence in the face of DPRK destabilizing activities. In this vein, the United States and ROK will significantly expand cooperation to confront a range of cyber threats from the DPRK, including but not limited to, state-sponsored cyber-attacks.
President Yoon and President Biden reiterate their common goal of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and agree to further strengthen the airtight coordination to this end. The two Presidents share the view that the DPRK’s nuclear program presents a grave threat not only to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula but also the rest of Asia and the world. Both leaders condemn the DPRK’s escalatory ballistic missile tests this year, including multiple launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, as clear violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions and reaffirm their joint commitment to work with the international community to urge the DPRK to abandon its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.Both leaders urge all UN Member States to fully implement all United Nations Security Council resolutions and also call on the DPRK to abide by its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions as well as its previous commitments and agreements.
President Yoon and President Biden emphasize that the path to dialogue remains open toward peaceful and diplomatic resolution with the DPRK and call on DPRK to return to negotiations. President Yoon outlined his vision to normalize inter-Korean relationship through an audacious plan aimed at a denuclearized and prosperous Korean peninsula and President Biden expresses his support for inter-Korean cooperation. Both leaders underscore the importance of ROK-U.S.-Japan trilateral cooperation for responding to the DPRK’s challenges, protecting shared security and prosperity, upholding common values, and bolstering the rules-based international order.
President Yoon and President Biden express grave concern over the human rights situation in the DPRK. The two Presidents also reaffirm their commitment to facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable North Koreans. Both leaders express concern over the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the DPRK. The ROK and the U.S. are willing to work with the international community to provide assistance to the DPRK to combat the virus.
A Strategic Economic and Technology Partnership
President Yoon and President Biden recognize that the future of the Alliance will be defined by common efforts to address 21st century challenges. In this vein, the two Presidents pledge to deepen and broaden cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, and cyber security. Both leaders also pledge to develop, use, and advance technologies in line with shared democratic principles and universal values.
President Yoon and President Biden recognize the importance of deepening cooperation on economic and energy security, which are critical to safeguarding our prosperity, shared security, and collective interests. To support these initiatives, the two Presidents will direct respective National Security Councils to launch an economic security dialogue aimed to align the bureaucratic and policy approaches between the two governments.
Fully recognizing that scientists, researchers, and engineers of the ROK and the U.S. are among the most innovative in the world, the two Presidents agree to leverage this comparative advantage to enhance public and private cooperation to protect and promote critical and emerging technologies, including leading-edge semiconductors, eco-friendly EV batteries, Artificial Intelligence, quantum technology, biotechnology, biomanufacturing, and autonomous robotics.
Moreover, the two Presidents also reaffirm their active support for people-to-people exchanges between experts in these fields. To this end, the two Presidents agree to work together to enhance partnership on these critical and emerging technologies in both countries through the promotion of investment as well as research and development cooperation. Recognizing the growing potential for ROK-U.S. cooperation in the defense industry, the two leaders agree to strengthen partnerships in areas such as defense sector supply chain, joint development and manufacturing, including beginning discussions on a Reciprocal Defense Procurement agreement.
Secure, sustainable, and resilient global supply chains are foundational to these efforts. Building upon international cooperation fostered by the U.S.-led Summit on Global Supply Chain Resilience, and by working closely together in the upcoming Ministerial-level summit, the two Presidents agree to continue working together to tackle immediate and long-term challenges in the supply chain ecosystem. Both leaders agree to strengthen the resiliency and diversity of these networks including by cooperating on early warning systems to detect and address potential supply chain disruptions and working together to address sourcing and processing of critical minerals. The two Presidents also agree to establish a regular ministerial-level Supply Chain and Commercial Dialogue to discuss promotion of resilient supply chains of key products, including semiconductors, batteries, and critical minerals. Both leaders also agree to enhance cooperation between our foreign investment screening and export control authorities related to critical technologies, which is necessary to prevent the use of advanced technologies to undermine our national and economic security.
Recognizing the importance of energy security as well as commitment to address climate change given the rapid increase of volatility in the global energy market as a result of Russia’s further aggression against Ukraine, the two Presidents will work to strengthen joint collaboration in securing energy supply chains that include fossil fuels, and enriched uranium, acknowledging that true energy security means rapidly deploying clean energy technology and working to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels.
The two leaders recognize the importance of nuclear energy as a critical and reliable source of carbon-free electricity, an important element to grow our clean energy economy, and an integral part of enhancing global energy security. The two leaders commit to greater nuclear energy collaboration and accelerating the development and global deployment of advanced reactors and small modular reactors by jointly using export promotion and capacity building tools, and building a more resilient nuclear supply chain. The two Presidents reaffirm that both countries will engage in global civil-nuclear cooperation in accordance with the highest standards of nuclear nonproliferation, including the IAEA Additional Protocol as the standard for both international safeguards and for nuclear supply arrangements. Acknowledging the shared goals of deepening strategic ties, while respecting each country’s intellectual investments, both leaders commit to using tools such as the ROK-U.S. Memorandum of Understanding on Nuclear Technology Transfer and Export Cooperation to provide a solid foundation for strengthened cooperation in the U.S., ROK and overseas nuclear markets and the High-Level Bilateral Commission, to further cooperation for spent fuel management, nuclear export promotion, assured fuel supply and nuclear security. The U.S. welcomes the ROK’s decision to join the U.S.-led Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) program.
President Yoon and President Biden commit to strengthening the ROK-U.S. alliance across all sectors of space cooperation. Building on the ROK’s previous commitment to participate in the Artemis program, the two Presidents agreed to foster joint research in space exploration and to support the ROK’s development of the Korean Positioning System (KPS). Both leaders agree to hold “the 3rd U.S.-ROK Civil Space Dialogue” by the end of the year, and to strengthen cooperation on the two countries space industries. They also commit to continue cooperation to ensure a safe, secure, and sustainable space environment including through the bilateral space policy dialogue and committed to strengthen defense space partnerships including through joint exercises.
President Yoon and President Biden agree that the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, remains the foundation of our economic relationship. To promote sustainable growth and financial stability, including orderly and well-functioning foreign exchange markets, the two Presidents recognize the need to consult closely on foreign exchange market developments. The two Presidents share common values and an essential interest in fair, market-based competition and commit to work together to address market distorting practices.
Global Comprehensive Strategic Alliance: Beyond the Korean Peninsula
Faced with increasingly complex global challenges including the threats posed by climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, President Yoon laid out the ROK’s initiative for a global pivotal state that envisions a heightened role in advancing freedom, peace, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. The two Presidents reaffirm their commitments to a global comprehensive strategic alliance firmly rooted in the shared values of promoting democracy and the rules-based international order, fighting corruption, and advancing human rights. President Biden appreciated President Yoon’s initiative to embrace greater regional and global responsibilities, and enthusiastically welcome the ROK taking a leadership role in the Summit for Democracy process.
Acknowledging the existential threat posed by climate change, President Yoon and President Biden reaffirm their commitments to their announced nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement including the 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets and 2050 net zero emission goals with strong efforts to align policies across sectors. The two Presidents also agree to enhance cooperation to address methane emissions globally, recognizing the importance of the Global Methane Pledge and rapid global action needed to address methane. The two Presidents also decide to strengthen cooperation in clean energy fields such as hydrogen, clean shipping, accelerated deployment of zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) and aligning international financial flows with global net zero emissions by 2050 and deep reductions in the 2020s.
President Yoon and President Biden pledge to support in strengthening multilateral efforts to prevent, prepare, and respond to infectious disease threats. President Yoon underscored President Biden’s leadership in convening the Global COVID-19 Summit in May 2022, and President Biden appreciated President Yoon’s active participation and ROK’s announced pledges, including funding for the Act-Accelerator to combat COVID-19 and support for the Financial Intermediary Fund for pandemic preparedness and global health security at the World Bank. President Biden welcomes the ROK’s decision to host a Global Health Security Agenda ministerial meeting this Fall and establish a GHS coordinating office for global and regional sustainable health security in Seoul. Our countries will also increase efforts bilaterally and in multilateral fora to promote biosafety and biosecurity norms. The U.S. and ROK will also strengthen health systems and build on successful health sector collaboration to accelerate cooperation and innovation in cancer research, cutting edge cancer treatments, mental health research, early detection, and treatment of mental health disorders.
President Yoon and President Biden highlight their shared belief in the extraordinary benefits afforded by an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet. To combat the rising threats posed by digital authoritarianism, they committed to defend human rights and foster an open “network of networks” that ensures the free flow of information globally. To achieve this, the ROK is ready to join the U.S. in endorsing the Declaration for the Future of the Internet. The two Presidents also reaffirm the need to ensure that the Internet continues to play a positive role in promoting equity, equality and safety for women and girls in both our societies. To this end, the U.S. and the ROK joined the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse as founding members. Recognizing the importance of telecommunications security and vendor diversity, the leaders also commit to work together to develop open, transparent, and secure 5G and 6G network devices and architectures using Open-RAN approaches, both at home and abroad.
President Yoon and President Biden will continue to deepen ROK-U.S. cooperation on regional and international cyber policy, including cooperation on deterring cyber adversaries, cybersecurity of critical infrastructure, combatting cybercrime and associated money laundering, securing cryptocurrency and blockchain applications, capacity building, cyber exercises, information sharing, military-to-military cyber cooperation, and other international security issues in cyberspace.
President Yoon and President Biden oppose all activities that undermine, destabilize, or threaten the rules-based international order and stand together with the international community in condemning Russia’s unprovoked further aggression against Ukraine. Both countries, alongside other international partners, have responded resolutely to this clear violation of international law, by imposing their own financial sanctions and export controls against Russia and Russian entities, along with the vital provision of humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Both leaders affirm that they will ensure the effective implementation of their country’s respective measures to deter further Russian aggression and maintain our commitment to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The two Presidents recognize the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific that is prosperous and peaceful, and agree to strengthen mutual cooperation across the region. In this regard, President Biden shares his support for President Yoon’s initiative to formulate ROK’s own Indo-Pacific strategy framework. President Yoon also welcomed the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy. The two Presidents commit to cooperate closely through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), based on the principles of openness, transparency, and inclusiveness. Both leaders agree to work together to develop a comprehensive IPEF that will deepen economic engagement on priority issues, including the digital economy, resilient supply chains, clean energy, and other priorities geared toward promoting sustainable economic growth.
President Yoon and President Biden also reaffirm their strong support for ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. The two Presidents commit to increase cooperation with Southeast Asia and the Pacific Island Countries to promote sustainable development, energy security, and high-quality, transparent investment, including in quality infrastructure. President Biden welcomes President Yoon’s interest in the Quad, and noted complementary ROK strengths including tackling the pandemic, fighting climate change and producing critical technologies. The two leaders also agree to cooperate on infrastructure financing, including digital infrastructure, in third countries. The two Presidents emphasize the importance of ROK-U.S.- Japan trilateral cooperation to effectively address common economic challenges.
President Yoon and President Biden reaffirm their commitment to maintain peace and stability, lawful unimpeded commerce, and respect for international law including freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful use of the seas, including in the South China Sea and beyond. The two Presidents reiterate the importance of preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait as an essential element in security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Sharing our mutual concerns regarding human rights situations in the Indo-Pacific region, both leaders commit to promote human rights and rule of law globally. The two Presidents resolutely condemn the coup in Myanmar and the military’s brutal attacks on civilians, and commit to press for the immediate cessation of violence, the release of those who are detained, unfettered countrywide humanitarian access, and a swift return to democracy. The two Presidents call on all nations to join us in providing safe haven to Burmese nationals and in prohibiting arms sales to Myanmar.
President Yoon and President Biden share the view that the Alliance has matured into a deep and comprehensive strategic relationship. Through our close ties between the two dynamic populations, extensive economic and investment links, and commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rules-based international order, the ROK and the U.S. are charting a path toward a relationship that is capable of meeting any challenge and seizing all the opportunities presented before us. President Yoon and President Biden jointly recognize the importance of our shared commitments and pledge to work tirelessly to broaden and deepen our ties to position us to succeed in a rapidly changing world.
President Biden expressed his gratitude for President Yoon’s warm hospitality and extended an invitation for President Yoon to visit Washington at a time of mutual convenience. ###
(Source: May 2022 US-ROK Joint Statement)