Biden and South Korea’s president jointly honor Korean War veteran at White House



President Biden’s second White Home assembly with a overseas chief, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, started Friday with a ceremonial first geared toward underscoring the shut ties between their two nations.

Moon joined Biden in awarding the Medal of Honor to a Korean Struggle veteran, retired Military Col. Ralph Puckett, marking the primary time a overseas chief has taken half within the ritual, in accordance with the White Home. It was additionally the primary time Biden has offered the nation’s highest navy honor.

“The power of the alliance between the USA and the Republic of Korea was born out of the braveness, willpower and sacrifice of the Korean troops preventing shoulder to shoulder with American troops,” Biden mentioned in welcoming Moon on the ceremony within the East Room. “Having you right here immediately is a vital recognition of all that our nations have achieved collectively.”

Puckett, 94, led 51 Military Rangers in preventing off successive waves of enemy counterattacks after his foot was almost blown off by a grenade. Rescued by his males, who have been impressed by his heroism, Puckett recovered from his accidents and went on to serve within the Vietnam Struggle as properly.

Biden lauded Puckett, who sat on the dais in full navy uniform, as a “true American hero” and mentioned he was “humbled” to have him on the White Home for an honor the president mentioned was “70 years overdue.”

Moon credited Puckett and American forces broadly with serving to to protect democracy in South Korea. “Col. Puckett and his fellow warriors are a hyperlink that binds the U.S. and Korea collectively,” he mentioned.

The presidents’ summit, which additionally consists of closed-door conferences and a joint information convention, offered one other alternative forBiden to sign his intent to strengthen the USA’ alliances in Asia as a counter to China’s rising financial and navy energy.

The assembly, simply over a month after Biden hosted Japan’s prime minister, follows a two-week stretch wherein his overseas coverage focus was diverted to the Center East, amid a violent battle between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza till a cease-fire Friday. The 2 leaders plan to announce new agreements between the U.S. and South Korea.

In line with aides who previewed the assembly, Biden is prone to come away with new commerce agreements and funding commitments from Korean enterprise, in addition to a promise by Seoul to set a extra bold aim to cut back carbon emissions by the yr 2030


In return, Moon might obtain help to reinforce his nation’s provide of coronavirus vaccine. It’s unclear whether or not he can persuade Biden to assist his efforts to ease tensions with nuclear-armed North Korea, maybe by supporting an official declaration of an finish to the Korean Struggle.

Moon, talking by a translator, mentioned, “Korea, as a accountable ally that shares core values with the USA, will at all times stand by America on its journey of recovering from COVID-19 disaster and defending liberal, democratic worldwide order.”

He additionally expressed assist for “bold local weather motion” and vowed to “coordinate with the U.S. with no daylight to realize full denuclearization and set up everlasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

Moon, who met with Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Thursday, started his day on the White Home on Friday with Vice President Kamala Harris. In a brief look earlier than reporters, Harris emphasised the significance of the U.S.-South Korea relationship and optimism about better collaboration within the Indo-Pacific area.

“At a time when our world faces growing threats to our well being, safety and local weather, it’s extra essential than ever that the USA and the Republic of Korea work intently collectively,” Harris mentioned.

She additionally alluded to the shut ties between her hometown and South Korea, telling Moon that “the most important Korean diaspora outdoors of Asia — I believe outdoors of Korea, really — is the place I stay, in Los Angeles, California.”


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