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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 16, 2002
President Discusses Asia Trip in Radio Address
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Today I'm flying west, across the Pacific, to visit Japan, South Korea and China. The people of Tokyo, Seoul, and Beijing touched all our hearts in the days after September 11, with moving displays of sympathy and support in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Today, all three nations are supporting our fight against terrorism.
I look forward to discussing our progress in ridding the world of this great threat to civilization, and we'll discuss our work to build a better world beyond terror -- a world of greater opportunity and more open trade, stronger security and more individual freedom.
I will speak to the Japanese Parliament and thank Japan for five decades of friendship. Our great alliance has helped make possible the remarkable economic success of the Pacific region, which creates so much opportunity and so many jobs for Americans.
Today, Japan is in the midst of economic uncertainty and transition. But I have great confidence in Japan's future and in the unlimited potential of its people. And I'm confident that Japan will make the bold reforms needed to restore growth and opportunity, which will benefit the people of both our nations.
I will visit South Korea and travel to the Demilitarized Zone, one of the most dangerous places on Earth, where barbed wire marks a line dividing freedom and oppression. I will visit with American servicemen and women who defend this frontier and provide stability on the Korean Peninsula.
The people of South Korea have built a vibrant democracy and Asia's third largest economy. The people of the South are now reaching out to the North in a spirit of friendship and reconciliation. I support these efforts. Yet I will remind the world that America will not allow North Korea and other dangerous regimes to threaten freedom with weapons of mass destruction.
In China, I look forward to seeing again, firsthand, the remarkable changes that are taking place as China opens to the world. America welcomes China's recent entry into the World Trade Organization, which will encourage American trade with China, and encourage economic freedom and the rule of law in China, itself.
I look forward to talking to the Chinese about their commitment to open up their markets to U.S. agricultural products. I'm also looking forward to meeting with Chinese students, because it gives me an opportunity to talk about the America I know -- an America with strong values of family, community, faith and freedom. And I will express my hopes that as China moves forward, it, too, will embrace the universal demands of human dignity, freedom of conscience and religion, and the rights and value of every life.
The flight across the northern Pacific is a long one. But in our spirit of friendship and cooperation, the nations of the northern Pacific are drawing every closer. All around this great ocean we see good friends -- Canada and Australia, New Zealand and Thailand, the Philippines and Taiwan. And they will find in America a nation that is determined and patient and committed to the great cause of building a world that is more peaceful, more secure, and more prosperous.
Thank you for listening.