Ruling party head thanks U.S. for donating J&J vaccine to S. Korea

SEOUL-- The head of the ruling Democratic Party on Friday thanked the United States for donating 1 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to South Korea as agreed upon in last month's bilateral summit.

South Korea administered Janssen's single-shot vaccine to reserve forces, civil defense members and others in charge of defense and foreign affairs after the U.S. government donated 1 million doses under last month's agreement between President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden.

In a meeting with Rob Rapson, charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, DP Chairman Song Young-gil said the vaccine donation by Washington was "a huge help" in Seoul's fight against COVID-19.

Song said that both countries produced remarkable results in the bilateral summit in May, mentioning the agreements on forging a vaccine partnership and the abolishment of the missile guidelines on Seoul, as well as the discussions to pursue peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The chairman said that the party will present swift follow-up measures in order to produce concrete results from the summit agreements.

On the scheduled Seoul trip by Sung Kim, the new U.S. special representative for North Korea, the chairman said he looks forward to an exploration of "effective measures" to draw North Korea to the negotiation table.

Rapson agreed with Song's assessment of the summit and noted that a great amount of momentum on the follow-up measures was produced.

He also explained that Kim's Seoul trip was arranged as part of efforts to sustain the discussions of the Korean Peninsula peace process. Rapson also expressed hopes for a three-way discussion between senior officials of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan.

During his trip from Saturday through Wednesday, Kim will join a three-way session with Noh Kyu-duk, Seoul's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, and Takehiro Funakoshi, Tokyo's director-general for Asian and Oceanian affairs, according to the U.S. State Department.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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