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(As Delivered)

Good morning distinguished participants.

I am Bonnie Jenkins, the United States’ Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the Department of State. On behalf of President Biden and Secretary Blinken, I am honored to be here with you in this beautiful setting for such an important meeting.

Vice Minister Lee, thank you for your opening remarks, and to the Republic of Korea for hosting the Proliferation Security Initiative’s 20th Anniversary meeting.

Today’s discussions, and the exercise to follow, as well as the Operational Experts Group meeting on June 2, will be critical in setting the policy direction of PSI moving forward. Upholding our common commitment to counterproliferation and to ensuring that WMD interdiction remains the global norm has never been more important.

I would like to present greetings from the President of the United States of America:

“I send my warmest greetings to all those gathered to mark the 20th anniversary of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), and I want to express my gratitude for your enduring commitment to preventing, countering, and ending the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

This commitment is needed now more than ever. Around the world, a growing number of nations continue to challenge the global security architecture that monitors and enforces norms against the spread of weapons of mass destruction. In far too many places, the risk of these weapons falling into the wrong hands remains a persistent and troubling concern. And as we have seen over recent years, emerging technologies have raised the specter of new and even deadlier weapons.

No nation acting alone can address these challenges. Today, I’m proud that PSI includes more than 100 countries spanning the globe. Together, let us continue to demonstrate our resolve to countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction-including by implementing the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles. Let us recommit to enhancing information sharing and to deepening our interdiction work together. And as we mark this historic anniversary, let us expand and grow PSI even further as we focus on new and emerging proliferation threats.

I want to extend my thanks to the Republic of Korea for hosting this important and first-of-its ­kind meeting in Asia. Today-and every day-the United States will continue to stand with you and all endorsers of PSI as we work toward the day when we can finally and forever rid the world of the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.”

Thank you again for making the trip here to Jeju Island and for re-affirming your country’s commitment to stopping the proliferation of WMD, its delivery systems, and related materials. Together, we can work to make the world a safer place.

Thank you.

U.S. Department of State

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