April 25, 2019 — Seoul, South Korea
An AJC delegation, led by AJC CEO David Harris, has concluded a visit to South Korea. It was the sixth visit to Seoul by the leading global Jewish advocacy group in the past five years alone.
The AJC delegation met with South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha. Separate meetings were held with the country’s Deputy National Security Advisor; the Special Advisor of the National Intelligence Service; the former top Korean negotiator of the six-party talks on North Korea; and the Israeli Ambassador.
Topics discussed included the U.S-South Korea relationship; U.S. efforts to stop all Iranian energy exports, including to South Korea; current assessments of the North Korean danger, especially its nuclear program and its weapons and technology exports to the Middle East; and the state of bilateral ties with Israel.
“No two countries on the planet should understand each other — and partner more comfortably — than South Korea and Israel,” said Harris. “Both nations are democracies and remarkable success stories, with overlapping histories, enormous economic development in a short time span, and dangerous neighborhoods to cope with. In our view, the sky should be the limit for the deepening of bilateral ties between Seoul and Jerusalem.”
During the two-day visit, Harris participated in the Asan Institute for Policy Studies (ASAN) Plenum, an annual gathering of leading experts and scholars. He addressed the Plenum on the issue of collective memory and its impact on present-day global affairs.
AJC has been actively engaged with South Korea since the late 1980s, and maintains close ties with Korean officials and other representatives in Seoul, the U.S., Israel, and elsewhere through its pathbreaking Asia Pacific Institute. Shira Loewenberg, the institute’s director, accompanied Harris on this trip.