State visit consolidates economic vision for alliance
May 8, 2023
This article was published on The Korea Times on May 8, 2023.
In recent years, the approach to joint statements and the balance of issues has changed at U.S.-Korea summits. The joint statements became more detailed. Economic issues were given more weight in the relationship and North Korea became less prominent. While North Korea’s resumption of weapons development since last year pushed extended deterrence to the top of the April 2023 Yoon-Biden summit agenda, cooperation on economic issues related to climate change, technology and space remained prominent and the summit consolidated an economic vision for the future of the relationship.
That vision was articulated by President Yoon Suk Yeol, who called for the relationship to “leap into a new phase” to tackle complex issues and to move towards increased cooperation on innovative technologies. This vision is perhaps best encapsulated by U.S.-Korea cooperation on climate change. Climate change represents a global challenge that cannot be solved by any nation alone. Over the last three years has become an important aspect of cooperation in the U.S.-Korea relationship.
In the Biden-Yoon joint statement, climate change, along with clean technology, is the only issue that touches on the alliance’s vision for cooperation globally, regionally and bilaterally. Across those three levels of cooperation, the statement envisions the United States and Korea working together to increase the share of electricity in power generation, to develop new technologies to make hydrogen and other clean technologies commercially viable, to strengthen clean energy ecosystems and to support countries’ ability to prepare for and adapt to climate change.
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