South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol spoke to a joint session in the U.S. Congress. He was celebrating the 70th anniversary his country’s alliance.
Yoon spoke in depth about the danger posed by North Korea and condemned the Russian invasion.
Yoon described the United States of America as “a nation conceived in freedom and dedicated to the proposition all men are born equal.”
He said: “I stand in front of that nation with the conviction of freedom, the belief in the Alliance, and the determination to open up a new tomorrow.”
Yoon thanked Congress on Thursday for passing a Resolution to Honor the Alliance with South Korea. The resolution dates the resolution to the signing of Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the United States of America and Republic of Korea on October 1, 53.
Over the last century, we’ve faced many threats. “The U.S. have always been the leaders in the defense of freedom,” said he. The two World Wars have caused great suffering to humanity. “America defended freedom at a cost.
Yoon said South Koreans are aware of the sacrifices made by the United States to ensure their freedom during the Korean War. This gave the South the chance to flourish, while North Korea fell into darkness and dictatorship.
He noted that “the U.S. Leadership established a world order based upon free trade and peace, but the prosperity was only limited to free-market economies where communists and totalitarian countries did not participate.”
Yoon paid homage to American Korean War veterans and their families, some of whom were in the audience. He also praised the positive impact that American culture has had on South Korea’s growth. He noted with poignancy that South Korea “was once a recipient nation of aid” and has grown into “the only modern nation to become a contributor.”
Yoon made a humorous point in his speech when he said that America had created Netflix, a massive streaming platform where South Korean content like Squid Game, and movies such as the Oscar-winning Parasite, have become popular among U.S. viewers. Yoon, for his part expressed a deep love of Tom Cruise films such as Top Gun: Maverick or the Mission Impossible series.
He jokingly said, “BTS beats me to the White House but I beat them on Capitol Hill,” in reference to the hugely popular Kpop group who visited the White House last June.
Yoon compared the South Korean prosperity brought by the friendship with America with the horrors of the communist neighboring country to the north, which is supported by China and Russia.
He said, “The differences are stark between Pyongyang and Seoul. Pyongyang chose communism and dictatorship, while Seoul chose freedom.” “North Korea has missed peace and forgotten freedom and prosperity.” North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs pose a grave threat to the peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Yoon called on increased trilateral coordination among the U.S. South Korea and Japan in order to “counteract the increasing North Korean threat.”
He said, “My government will respond strongly to provocations while keeping the door open for a dialogue on North Korea’s denuclearization.” “I urge North Korea once more to stop its provocations and follow the right path,” he said.
North Korea’s obsession for nuclear weapons and missiles has plunged its people into severe economic crises and abuses of human rights. We must bring the horrific human rights situation in North Korea to global attention. We cannot shirk our responsibility to promote freedom in North Korea,” he said. He was referring to the report that his government released last month about Pyongyang atrocities.
Yoon charged that “unspeakable and horrific incidents” had occurred. Men and women were shot and killed because they violated [pandemic] preventive measures. Some were publicly executed for sharing South Korean programs and watching them.
We need to increase awareness. He said that we must make the world aware of the seriousness of North Korea’s violations of human rights.
Yoon didn’t mention North Korea’s Chinese patrons by name, but he condemned the Russian invasion in Ukraine.
He argued that “the war against Ukraine is an international law violation.” “It’s an attempt to unilaterally alter the status quo by force.” Korea condemns strongly the unprovoked attack on Ukraine.”
Yoon stated that “Korea’s experience shows how important it is to maintain solidarity for democracies.” “Korea will be in solidarity with all of the free world.” “We will actively work to protect the freedom of people in Ukraine.”