President Park Geun-hye met U.S. Rep. Michael Honda, D-Calif., on December 19 to discuss the relationship between Korea and the U.S., current affairs and unification plans for the Korean Peninsula.
President Park expressed gratitude for the efforts of both Honda and the U.S. House of Representatives for the development of the ROK-U.S. alliance. Asking for continued efforts, she hoped that some current issues between the two nations -- such as an atomic energy agreement and the adoption of a new visa system -- would take effect as soon as possible.
President Park Geun-hye (right) exchanges views with US Rep. Michael Honda on December 19 at Cheong Wa Dae. They spoke about the relationship between Korea and the US, current affairs and unification plans for the Korean Peninsula.
The congressman expressed his continued support, saying that the ROK-U.S. alliance is solid, based on democracy, the market economy and human rights and is important for the peace and security of the Asian Pacific region.
He praised the speech that Park gave in March in Dresden, Germany, about plans for unification through trust-building. He said that her speech was profound, comprehensive and compassionate.
He also said that the "mother and child" health care service carried out in Korea reminds people that we are all raised by the warmth and support of a mother, and that the project also played a role in opening people’s eyes to the reunion of separated families from the South and the North and the construction of a DMZ ecological park.
Park mentioned that Honda sent her a joint letter in September signed by 14 U.S. representatives saying that they support her unification plan for Korea. She stressed that humanitarian support planned by the Korean government can be implemented soon, if North Korea were to accept it. She said that it's a shame that North Korea turns a blind eye to the path that could lead to trust-building between the two Koreas.
Park said that there were more than 120 “comfort women” still alive in 2007, but that now there were only 55 still alive. She insisted that it’s the right thing to do to help them recover their honor.
President Park stressed that the issue of sexual slavery during wartime and occupation is a universal and on-going issue, related to women’s rights, that needs to be solved as soon as possible. She also expressed gratitude for his efforts and contributions in the U.S. House to raise awareness of this issue.
Honda agreed that it’s a matter of the present, not of the past nor of the future. For the reconciliation of the Asian Pacific region, he said, Japan should accept responsibility for the "comfort women" issue and bring justice to those who sacrificed so much.
President Park Geun-hye met with Jane Harman, president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, to discuss bilateral relations between Korea and the U.S., current affairs on the Korean Peninsula and her plans for peace and cooperation across Northeast Asia.
On the same day, President Park also spoke with Jane Harman, president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, about the development of the bilateral relationship between Korea and the U.S.
President Park welcomed Harman's visit to Korea, and said that development of the bilateral relationship is based on mutual understanding and exchanges between people in the two countries. She said that the Wilson Center has been involved in a number of academic studies related to Korea over the past few decades, and asked for continued contributions to the development of the bilateral relationship.