SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  It’s a real pleasure to have this opportunity to be with our friends and partners.  Eui-yong and I have been working very closely together for many months now and – just a testament to the absolute vitality of the relationship, the partnership between the United States and the Republic of Korea.  I’d like to say one of the hallmarks is the fact that we have what is truly a global partnership.  Of course, we work on bilateral issues, we’re working on regional issues together, but we’re also working on global issues – everything from COVID to climate.  So we have a lot to talk about.  I was very much looking forward to this opportunity to compare notes with you, and then we’ll be spending time with our colleague from Japan in our trilateral.  But thank you for being here and I look forward to good conversation.

FOREIGN MINISTER CHUNG:  Well, thank you, Tony, for inviting (inaudible) my delegation to Hawaii.  It’s a real treat for us to be here.  Well, first of all, I thank you for your concern and interest in the safety of Koreans living in the United States.  We do appreciate your effort to provide safety for all (inaudible).  And I also thank you and welcome (inaudible) to such a seasoned diplomat like Mr. Philip Goldberg as new U.S. ambassador to Korea.  We are very much looking forward to closely working with the new ambassador, and I hope he’ll be installed soon.  And I will also say that we hope to continue our consultations on how to further strengthen our bilateral relationship, not only to (inaudible), but also promote our global partnership.  We have a lot to cover.  And we are very concerned about the – all of the situation of the Korean Peninsula in particular, and I hope we can also have – with exchange of views in how to deal with the situation.

And I’m also very happy to have a trilat meeting (inaudible) in the region.  I had a good meeting with Minister Hayashi (inaudible).  Although we have differences – and it’s not easy for us to get over with all these differences – but we agreed to continue our close diplomatic consultation.  And I think that is a very positive (inaudible), and I’m very much looking forward to having this close trilateral cooperation amongst three of us.  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you very much.

U.S. Department of State

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