Pres. Park seeks U.S. support on Korea's air defense zone expansionUpdated: 2013-12-06 PM 9:54:16 (KST)
The meeting between President Park and U.S. Vice President Biden stretched almost an hour longer than scheduled, with the two discussing a variety of issues ranging from the bilateral to the global.
First and foremost, the two sides reaffirmed their strong bilateral alliance.
"The Korea-U.S. alliance has been a linchpin for the stability and prosperity of the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia. I hope we can further develop the alliance based on the trust we've built over the past 60 years."
Biden made it clear that President Obama's pivot to Asia is not in question, and indirectly called for Korean government support on the strategy.
He said that it is never good to bet against the U.S., adding that the U.S. would continue to bet on Korea.
Topping the agenda of their meeting was China's new air defense identification zone, which has recently shaken up the security landscape in Northeast Asia.
The Korean government plans to expand its air defense zone so it covers the Korea-controlled submerged rock of Ieodo , which Beijing unilaterally included in its own air defense zone recently, along with the Korean islands of Marado and Hongdo , which are partly included in Japan's air defense zone.
President Park explained the plan and, in response, Biden reportedly expressed appreciation for Seoul's efforts to push ahead with the expansion.
Observers say this shows that the Korean president made it clear that the expansion is in Seoul's national interest, and that Biden to a certain level understood the stance by promising to work closely together on the issue.
The U.S. vice president asked President Park to quickly solve the obstacles that lay between Korea and Japan, two of the most important allies of Washington.
To this, President Park emphasized that Tokyo must become an cooperative partner, and called for sincere measures by the Japanese government to build a "future-oriented relationship.
"With regard to North Korea, the two sides exchanged views on the current political situation there, and promised to work towards tangible progress on denuclearizing the North based on strong Korea-U.S. ties.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News."
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"Observers say this shows that the Korean president made it clear that the expansion is in Seoul's national interest, and that Biden to a certain level understood the stance by promising to work closely together on the issue."
(Korea needs U.S. approval to expand its air zone?)