SEOUL – According to the presidential office, President Yoon Suk-yeol and US Vice President Kamala Harris expressed concern about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and discussed measures to alleviate Seoul’s worries about the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
According to deputy presidential spokesperson Lee Jae-myoung, Yoon and Harris met for 85 minutes at the presidential office and discussed a wide variety of issues, including measures to deepen the bilateral relationship and significant regional and international concerns.
“President Yoon and Vice President Harris voiced grave worry about North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches and legalization of its nuclear force program,” he said at a press conference, adding that Harris reaffirmed the US’s unwavering commitment to South Korean defense.
“Vice President Harris stated that not only she, but also President Biden, are well aware of South Korea’s worries (about the IRA) and will investigate it thoroughly in order to find solutions to address South Korea’s concerns throughout the law’s implementation,” he added.
The two sides also agreed to have Yoon visit the United States next year to commemorate the alliance’s 70th anniversary.
Regarding the scandal surrounding Yoon and Biden’s meetings in New York last week, Harris stated that the US is unconcerned, according to Lee.
The spokeswoman did not clarify on the controversy to which Harris was referring, but it appears to have included the uproar in South Korea over Yoon’s statements caught on a hot mic, which were initially believed to include foul language in reference to US Congress and Biden.