Moon orders thorough steps to follow up on his summit deal with Biden, Cheong Wa Dae says

May 24, 2021

President Moon Jae-in instructed the government and his Cheong Wa Dae team Monday to take thorough follow-up measures to implement his summit agreement with U.S. President Joe Biden, according to his office.

Moon convened a meeting with his Cheong Wa Dae aides and also had a weekly meeting with Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum as scheduled, a day after returning from his visit to the U.S. for the summit talks.

Citing deals on economic cooperation, COVID-19 vaccines, the alliance and the Korea peace process, he issued an order for related ministries to let the people know about them in detail and feel the impact of concrete measures, Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Park Kyung-mee said in a press statement.

Earlier in the day, Moon’s Chief of Staff You Young-min had a separate meeting with senior presidential secretaries on following up on the latest summit agreements between the allies.

You reported a plan to the president for operating a task force of Cheong Wa Dae as well as an interagency team to discuss ways to work together with the U.S. to implement deals on vaccines and partnerships in high-tech industries such as semiconductors and large capacity batteries, Park said.

In order for the establishment of a “global vaccine partnership” with the U.S., as agreed in the Moon-Biden summit held at the White House last Friday, You also proposed the launch of an “experts’ working group.”

In response, the president called for all-out efforts to turn the “better-than-expected” outcome of the summit into “substantive” measures and actions, the spokesperson said.

Moon and Biden also reaffirmed the shared goal of achieving the complete denuclearization of Korea.

Cheong Wa Dae, meanwhile, attached a special meaning to the summit agreement, saying it has presented the future direction of the alliance between Seoul and Washington.

“The summit was highly meaningful” in that it has offered a chance for the two sides to look back on the past 70-year-long strategic alliance and presented ways for development in the future, a senior Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters on the condition of anonymity.

Moon and Biden issued a five-page joint statement with the subtitles of “The Alliance: Opening a New Chapter” and “The Way Forward: Comprehensive Partnership for a Better Future.”

The official pointed out that the Moon-Biden talks were held at a “historically important time” when both of the allies have liberal administrations for the first time in two decades. Previously, South Korea had the liberal Kim Dae-jung administration when Bill Clinton was U.S. president.

Regarding the Korean Peninsula issue, the Cheong Wa Dae official struck an upbeat note on the possibility of denuclearization talks with North Korea being resumed.

The U.S. appointment of Sung Kim, ambassador to Indonesia, as special envoy on North Korea is seen as reflecting South Korea’s position that dialogue with Pyongyang needs to be restarted at an early date, he added. Biden made the announcement during a joint press conference right after the summit with Moon.

Their agreements on civil space exploration, including the accord to terminate the 42-year-old bilateral missile guidelines, represent the expansion and deepening of the alliance, he added.

Moon and Biden also agreed to cooperate toward South Korea signing the Artemis Accords on a U.S.-led program, joined by several nations, to return humans to the moon by 2024.