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(LEAD) Foreign ministry hails Biden's pledge to strengthen alliances

All News 18:35 January 21, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS ministry spokesperson's commentary on U.S. rejoining of Paris agreement in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- The foreign ministry on Thursday welcomed new U.S. President Joe Biden's pledge to strengthen alliances, saying it will work with Washington to that end and seek an early summit between the two countries.

"Our government welcomes that President Biden, through his inauguration speech, has expressed a willingness to lead the international community with the power of example, and particularly, to strengthen alliances," ministry spokesperson Choi Young-sam said in a press briefing.

Noting that President Moon Jae-in expressed hope to meet with Biden soon in his congratulatory message to the new U.S. president, Choi added that the ministry will keep this objective in focus and make related efforts.

In the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday (U.S. time), Biden promised to repair alliances and engage with the world to restore U.S. leadership.

Choi also stressed that denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula remains the shared goal of South Korea and the United States, as he commented on U.S. Secretary of State nominee Tony Blinken's remarks that the Biden administration should review its entire approach and policy toward North Korea.

"South Korea and the U.S. have worked together for complete denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, and there is no disagreement on this objective," he said, adding that Seoul will continue close communication with the new U.S. administration to that end.

In a separate commentary, Choi also welcomed Biden's decision to reenter the Paris climate agreement, which the U.S. pulled out of last year under then-President Donald Trump's order.

"Our government hopes to expand cooperation with the U.S. government in the climate change and environment fields, including the Green New Deal and the implementation of the Paris agreement," the spokesperson said. The Green New Deal is one of Moon's key initiatives aimed at achieving sustainable growth through eco-friendly policies.

Choi Young-sam, the spokesman for South Korea's foreign ministry, gives a briefing in Seoul on Jan. 5, 2021. (Yonhap)


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