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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 16, 2005

Joint Declaration on the Rok-U.s. Alliance and Peace on the Korean Peninsula

Joint Declaration on the ROK-U.S. Alliance and Peace on the Korean Peninsula

President Roh Moo-hyun of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and President George W. Bush of the United States of America held a summit meeting on November 17, 2005, in Gyeongju.

President Bush expressed his deep appreciation for Korea's natural beauty and ancient culture which he was able to experience together with President Roh at Gyeongju.

The two leaders had an in-depth discussion on a wide range of issues: the alliance, the North Korean nuclear issue, inter-Korean relations and establishing a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, economic cooperation, and cooperation in regional and global issues.

Reaffirming that the alliance is strong, the two leaders concurred that the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue is essential for establishing durable peace on the Korean peninsula.

President Roh and President Bush highlighted the contribution of the alliance to securing peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia for the past fifty years.

The two leaders expressed their satisfaction with the steady development of the ROK-U.S. relationship into a comprehensive, dynamic and mutually-beneficial alliance relationship, as agreed upon during the May 14, 2003, summit in Washington D.C.

The two leaders reviewed the successful force realignment agreements and shared the view that this realignment will further enhance the combined defense capability of the alliance. They expressed the common understanding that U.S. Forces-Korea (USFK) is essential for the peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia.

The two leaders agreed that the alliance not only stands against threats but also for the promotion of the common values of democracy, market economy, freedom, and human rights in Asia and around the world.

President Roh and President Bush spoke highly of the successful agreements on the relocation of USFK bases including Yong-san Garrison, and the partial reduction of USFK, which was accomplished through close ROK-U.S. consultation. Both leaders expressed satisfaction that the agreements between the two sides were being faithfully implemented.

President Bush expressed appreciation for the assistance that Korean troops are giving to a swifter establishment of peace and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan and also for the contribution the Korean government has made towards strengthening the ROK-U.S. alliance through such efforts.

President Roh and President Bush agreed to launch a strategic dialogue called Strategic Consultation for Allied Partnership (SCAP) at the ministerial-level to consult on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. The two leaders agreed to have the first strategic dialogue at the beginning of 2006.

President Roh and President Bush reiterated that a nuclear-armed North Korea will not be tolerated, and reaffirmed the principles that the North Korean nuclear issue should be resolved through peaceful and diplomatic means and that North Korea should eliminate its nuclear weapons programs promptly and verifiably.

The two leaders welcomed the September 19 Joint Statement concluded during the fourth round of the Six-Party Talks as an important step towards the goal of a denuclearized North Korea.

They welcomed North Korea's commitment to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and reaffirmed their commitment to take measures outlined in the Joint Statement.

The two leaders looked forward to progress in the fifth round of talks, which should be dedicated to the implementation of the Joint Statement.

President Roh reaffirmed that the ROK will continue to pursue the development of inter-Korean relations in accordance with its Peace and Prosperity Policy and in harmony with progress in resolving the nuclear issue so that both are mutually reinforcing. President Bush expressed support for South-North reconciliation and pledged to continue close cooperation and coordination as it develops.

The two leaders shared a common understanding that the process of resolving the North Korean nuclear issue will provide an important basis to build a durable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. The two leaders agreed that reducing the military threat on the Korean Peninsula and moving from the current armistice mechanism to a peace mechanism would contribute to full reconciliation and peaceful reunification on the Korean Peninsula.

Pursuant to the September 19th Six Party Joint Statement, the two leaders agreed that discussions on a peace regime should take place amongst directly-related parties in a forum separate from the Six-Party Talks and following progress in those Talks, and expected that the discussions on a peace regime and the Six Party Talks will be mutually reinforcing.

They agreed that these peace discussions should lead to a decreased military threat and increased confidence on the peninsula in a manner consistent with the peaceful intentions of the U.S.-ROK alliance.

The two leaders exchanged views on the situation for the people of the North and, based on a common hope for a better future, agreed to continue seeking ways to improve their condition.

The two leaders agreed to strengthen ROK-U.S. cooperation so that APEC, as a major economic forum encompassing the Asia-Pacific, can respond more effectively to important demands from the region in the future.

President Roh and President Bush agreed to closely cooperate with each other with a view to ensuring the success of the forthcoming 6th WTO Ministerial conference and the final conclusion of the WTO Doha development agenda negotiations.

The two presidents recognized that close economic ties are an important pillar of the bilateral relationship and agreed that deepening and strengthening our economic and trade cooperation will contribute to the prosperity and freedom of both nations.

President Bush announced that the U.S. will work with the ROK to develop a visa waiver program roadmap to assist Korea in meeting the requirements for membership in the program. Korea's interest in participating in the VWP reflects our strong bilateral partnership and will contribute to enhance exchanges and mutual understanding.

President Roh and President Bush agreed to make common efforts to develop a regional multilateral security dialogue and a cooperation mechanism, so as to jointly respond to regional security issues. In this regard, both leaders noted that the participants in the Six-Party Talks agreed through the Joint Statement to look for ways and means to promote security cooperation in Northeast Asia and that there was a common understanding among the participants that the Six-Party Talks could develop into such a regional multilateral security consultative mechanism once the North Korean nuclear issue is resolved.

The two leaders also agreed to continuously strengthen bilateral cooperation in the United Nations and other international organizations, including through such activities as peace-keeping operations.

The two leaders agreed to continue to cooperate in fighting the global war on terror, and dealing with various international security issues including transnational crimes.

The two leaders agreed to cooperate in arms reduction and efforts to prevent the proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery at a regional and global level.

President Roh and President Bush agreed to continue to work together towards a full partnership between allies.

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