Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman travels to the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Philippines, Vietnam, and Laos from June 5 to 14. The Deputy Secretary’s travel to the region reflects the United States’ continued commitment to the Indo-Pacific and follows last month’s US-ASEAN Special Summit, President Biden’s visit to the ROK and Japan, the Quad Leaders’ Summit in Tokyo, and the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
In Seoul, Deputy Secretary Sherman met with ROK leaders, including Foreign Minister Park Jin, Unification Minister Kwon Young-se, and First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong. The Deputy Secretary also discussed the importance of women’s leadership and economic empowerment with leading women startup entrepreneurs, and met with LGBTQI+ civil society leaders to highlight the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion and mark Pride Month.
Also in Seoul, Deputy Secretary Sherman met with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Mori Takeo and had a trilateral meeting with First Vice Foreign Minister Cho and Vice Foreign Minister Mori to discuss how the United States, the ROK, and Japan can continue to work together for the benefit of the region and the world to address the critical challenges of the 21st century.
In Manila, Deputy Secretary Sherman met with President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and senior members of the incoming and outgoing administrations to discuss new ways to deepen the bilateral US-Philippines Alliance. She also participated in a business roundtable and an event in celebration of World Oceans Day.
In Vientiane, Deputy Secretary Sherman met with Deputy Prime Minister Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune and Vice Foreign Minister Bounleua Phandanouvong to discuss how to best support Laos as it pursues its sustainable development goals and boosts its prosperity and connectivity with its ASEAN neighbors. She also announced additional US support for surveying and clearing unexploded ordnance. The Deputy Secretary engaged with civil society members and alumni of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) to demonstrate the United States’ strong support for Laos civil society and mutual understanding between our countries.
In Ho Chi Minh City, Deputy Secretary Sherman will meet with municipal Party Secretary Nguyen Van Nen and deliver remarks at Fulbright University Vietnam. In Hanoi, the Deputy Secretary will meet with Vietnamese officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, and Vice Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc to emphasize the strength of the US-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership and US support for a strong , prosperous, and independent Vietnam. She will also announce additional support for surveying and clearing unexploded ordnance, demonstrating our continued commitment to addressing legacies of war. In addition, the Deputy Secretary will discuss supply chain resiliency with private sector representatives and together with Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan, launch a USAID project to counter wildlife trafficking in Vietnam.