Vice President Joe Biden spent a few days in Seoul to conclude his East Asia trip last week, after visiting Tokyo and Beijing. He held meetings with Korean President Park Geun-hye, Prime Minister Chung Hong-won, and addressed a group of students at Yonsei University. Biden also made time to visit the DMZ and the War Memorial in Seoul, which honors many American soldiers who fought in the Korean War.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the US-South Korea Mutual Defense Treaty, which is the cornerstone of the bilateral alliance. In his talks with the South Korean president and his address at Yonsei University, Biden highlighted the fact that the alliance has grown from a primarily security-oriented one into a robust and multifaceted relationship. Last year, the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement entered into effect, strengthening trade ties between the two countries. Biden also expressed his support for Korea’s interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. He also took the opportunity to discuss how Korea and the US are working together around the world on fighting poverty and illiteracy, and many other human rights causes.