Congratulatory Remarks
“ 2017 Korea America Year End Friendship Night”

Marc Knapper
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim U.S. Embassy Seoul/주한미국대사대리

여러분 안녕하십니까, 주한 미국 대사관 대사대리 입니다. Mark Knapper라고 합니다. 반갑습니다.

Thank you Chairman Han for those really meaningful and important words. Thank you very much to you and Korea America Friendship Society for hosting tonight’s event. This is, speaking on behalf of my colleagues at the U.S. embassy. This is one of the most special nights of the year and we are grateful for your warm hospitality.

And General Kim, Byeong Joo, it is wonderful to see you this evening with your wife. Welcome. It is great to have you here.

Last month, we hosted President Trump and it was really the visit for us the culmination of a year filled with high level visits, starting with secretary Mattis in February, Secretary Tillerson in March. Vice president Pence in May. Secretary Mattis again after that. Another visit by Secretary Tillerson.

So, it was a busy year. But it was a good one. Because we see these visits as really critical for helping to strengthen our bilateral relationship for helping to deepen our friendship as together our two countries face critical issues not just here on the peninsula but around the world. Because we see our alliances bound by not only our shared sacrifices in the battlefield but also it is an alliance, a friendship that is strengthened every single day through our economic, our cultural, our many many other ties.

As well as through our shared interests, our shared values, our shared desire to make the world better for the people not just of our two countries but around the world. But all the work that we do in support of this alliance, all the work that we do to strengthen our friendship built upon the foundation created by people like you tonight, created by organizations like Korea America Friendship Society without whose support, this relationship would not be as strong as it is today. So your efforts to build our relationship form the backbone and the strength of our alliance that we are extremely grateful.

So, looking ahead to 2018, we have a lot to look forward to not least the Pyeong Chang Olympics for which we all are very excited. This would be a chance for Korea to show off everything it has accomplished over the last 70 years, show off the warmth and friendship of its people and show off its athletic prowess as well.

In closing, let me just say thank you. Thank you for everything that you do in support of our countries’ two alliance and thank you for everything you do in support of our friendship and thank you to Korea America Friendship Society for what you do everday and especially for this wonderful evening. Thank you very much.
감사합니다. Merry Christmas. 새해복 많이 받으세요!

 

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