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: 관리자 : 2023년 6월 30일 (금), 오후 1:59

(LEAD) Yonhap forum opens amid security challenges on 70th anniv. of S. Korea-U.S. alliance

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with more details throughout; CHANGES photos; ADDS byline)
By Kim Soo-yeon

SEOUL, June 29 (Yonhap) -- Yonhap News Agency, South Korea's key newswire service, held its annual forum Thursday to discuss the complex geopolitical situation on the Korean Peninsula on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Seoul-Washington alliance.

The symposium, also co-hosted with Seoul's unification ministry, opened at Lotte Hotel under the main theme of "70 Years of the ROK-U.S. Alliance: the Present and Future of the Korean Peninsula," bringing together senior government officials and security experts.

The forum came amid a complex security environment, highlighted by North Korea's push to expand its nuclear arsenal, the intensified rivalry between Washington and Beijing, and Russia's protracted war with Ukraine.

Seoul and Washington signed their mutual defense treaty, a bedrock alliance document, in October 1953, after the Korean War ended in a truce three months earlier. The alliance has served as a linchpin for promoting peace and security in the region.

Seong Ghi-hong, CEO and president of Yonhap News Agency speaks in an opening speech at a forum co-hosted by Yonhap and the Ministry of Unification at Lotte Hotel on June 29, 2023. (Yonhap)

Seong Ghi-hong, CEO and president of Yonhap News Agency speaks in an opening speech at a forum co-hosted by Yonhap and the Ministry of Unification at Lotte Hotel on June 29, 2023. (Yonhap)

In his message to the forum, President Yoon Suk Yeol said his government will do its best to ensure the strengthening of the alliance could serve as a "big" opportunity for the future generation.

"In that sense, we need to let the future generation properly understand the value and the meaning of the alliance. Along with the government's efforts, the role of the press is very important," Yoon said in the message read by Unification Minister Kwon Young-se.

In a video message, Kurt Campbell, U.S. National Security Council coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs, said the U.S. and South Korea celebrated 70 years of "tremendous progress of standing shoulder-to-shoulder" to meet challenges on the peninsula.

He also said U.S. President Joe Biden has invited President Yoon and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to Washington for a trilateral summit this summer.

"(In the envisioned summit), we will celebrate the remarkable progress that's been made in the bilateral relationship between Japan and South Korea, and to see what steps we can take to make sure we lock that progress in and to see what's possible to trilateralize areas of cooperation going forward," he added.

Foreign Minister Park Jin is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech, while U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Philip Goldberg and Lt. Gen. Scott L. Pleus, deputy chief of the U.S. Forces Korea, will also address a special session.

Unification Minister Kwon Young-se read a message by President Yoon Suk Yeol at a forum co-hosted by Yonhap News Agency and the Ministry of Unification at Lotte Hotel on June 29, 2023. (Yonhap)

Unification Minister Kwon Young-se read a message by President Yoon Suk Yeol at a forum co-hosted by Yonhap News Agency and the Ministry of Unification at Lotte Hotel on June 29, 2023. (Yonhap)

The forum is divided into two comprehensive sessions.

In the first session titled "The reshaping of international order and South Korea's Indo-Pacific Strategy," panelists will discuss President Yoon Suk Yeol's strategy and explore ways to preserve peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

The second session will address ways for Seoul to resume dialogue with Pyongyang amid a protracted stalemate in denuclearization talks. Last year, Yoon proposed to the North an "audacious initiative" aimed at supporting its economic development in return for its commitment to denuclearization.

Seong Ghi-hong, CEO and president of Yonhap News Agency, said the symposium will serve as a "productive" venue of discussions to shed light on the present and future of the alliance.

"Yonhap News Agency will be together on the path for the ROK to develop as a 'global pivotal state,' which will contribute to the promotion of freedom, peace and prosperity," he said, using the acronym of South Korea's full name, the Republic of Korea.

The forum, now in its ninth year, will be streamed live on its website (https://www.onekorea2023.co.kr).

This image shows the poster of an annual peace forum, co-hosted by Yonhap News Agency and the Ministry of Unification, to be held on June 29, 2023, at Lotte Hotel in central Seoul. (Yonhap)

This image shows the poster of an annual peace forum, co-hosted by Yonhap News Agency and the Ministry of Unification, to be held on June 29, 2023, at Lotte Hotel in central Seoul. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr

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