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(2nd LD) Moon visits U.S. military cemetery in show of commitment to stronger alliance

All News 01:29 May 21, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with reports of Moon's visit to a presidential memorial in paras 8-10; ADDS photo)

WASHINGTON/SEOUL, May 20 (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday, kicking off his official schedule in the United States.

Moon laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the cemetery in northern Virginia, just south of the U.S. capital. The monument is dedicated to fallen American service members whose remains have not been identified, including many killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington on May 20, 2021. (Yonhap)

The president paid his respects to all soldiers who dedicated themselves to the protection of freedom and peace in foreign countries, according to Cheong Wa Dae, the presidential office.

He then donated a plaque, reading "In Memory of the Unknown Soldiers and their Noble Sacrifices," to the memorial display room, it said.

Speaking with U.S. officials who attended the event, Moon reaffirmed his commitment to developing the Seoul-Washington alliance in a "stronger and more comprehensive" way, together with President Joe Biden, Cheong Wa Dae added.

Moon and Biden are scheduled to hold summit talks at the White House on Friday.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) pays his respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington on May 20, 2021. (Yonhap)

It was Moon's first visit to the cemetery, which the U.S. calls the country's "most hollowed ground," although he made three previous trips to Washington, D.C., since taking office in May 2017.

His trip to the cemetery was followed by a brief visit to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington.

Moon has often named the late U.S. president as one of the figures he most revered.

"Former President Roosevelt had opened the golden age of American capitalism by addressing the United States' economic inequity and injustice with his New Deal," Moon said on his campaign trail before the 2017 presidential election. "I, too, wish to become a president who revitalizes our economy while addressing our economic inequity and injustice."

Later in the day, he planned to visit Capitol Hill to meet with Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, and other leaders of the chamber.

He is expected to request congressional support for the Korea peace process and Seoul's bid to emerge as a global vaccine production hub.

President Moon Jae-in views a statue of late U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his visit to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington on May 20, 20121. (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr
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