JoongAng Ilbo-CSIS Forum 2014 Keynote Address by Mr. Joshua Bolten
May 27, 2014
Thank you, Secretary Hamre, for your kind introduction; Chairman Hong for your gracious hospitality; and the JoongAng Ilbo and CSIS sponsors for organizing what promises to be such a stimulating dialogue. It is truly a privilege to be with you.
Later today, we will have the benefit of superb panels of experts, discussing North Korea, China, Japan, and the US pivot toward Asia. In my brief remarks this morning, I would like to draw the lens farther back, offering some broader reflections on America’s role in this region and the world. I will argue for reinvigorating America’s global leadership through an ambitious trade agenda.
Before doing so, however, I want to recognize that, coming just weeks after the tragic Sewol ferry disaster, we are here at a still difficult and raw moment for the Korean people. We extend our heartfelt condolences to all who have suffered.
More happily, we are here at a good moment for US-Korean relations. President Obama’s visit last month, his fourth to Korea during his presidency, underscored the strength of the US commitment to Korea. Likewise, President Park’s trip to the US last year, the first foreign visit of her tenure, was widely hailed as a success.