U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris meets college leaders to discuss abortion ruling in Washington


  • Vice President Kamala Harris made the remarks at a state luncheon with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol
  • President Joe Biden and Yoon reaffirmed the U.S. and South Korea's "ironclad" alliance
  • The alliance became rocky when an intelligence leak showed that the U.S. is spying on allies, including South Korea

Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday said that the Emmy Award-winning Netflix series "Squid Game" and the K-pop band BTS are some examples of South Korea's "cultural ties" with the United States.

Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosted a state luncheon at the State Department on the fourth day of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol's six-day state visit to the U.S.

Speaking at the luncheon, the vice president used pop culture references to show the "cultural ties and the intertwined history" of the two countries.

"South Korea and the United States, as the Secretary [Blinken] has mentioned, also share strong cultural and people-to-people ties. K-pop bands — they top the billboards in the United States, including BTS, who I had the great pleasure of meeting and inviting to my office in the West Wing. And to the great pleasure of my niece, I must tell you," Harris joked.

Harris also revealed that she and her husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, are fans of 2021 hit South Korean survival drama "Squid Game," which they "binge-watched."

"I also think of the Emmy award-winning TV shows like 'Squid Games' (sic), which I will confess Doug and I binge-watched at home over a series of weeks. And I think of the actress Youn Yuh-jung, who I met in Seoul last year when I convened groundbreaking South Korean women. She is the first Korean to win an Academy Award for acting. These are examples of the cultural ties and the intertwined history between our nations," the vice president said.

President Yoon's six-day state visit to the U.S. came as the two countries marked the 70th anniversary of their bilateral alliance.

The alliance between the two countries was rocked after highly classified Pentagon documents leaked online in recent weeks revealed that the U.S. is spying on its allies, including South Korea.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden held a joint press conference with Yoon at the White House, where they announced a key new agreement to deter North Korea's aggression by deploying a nuclear-armed submarine to South Korea.

"The alliance formed in war and has flourished in peace," Biden said, hailing the two countries' "ironclad" alliance.

"Our mutual defense treaty is ironclad, and that includes our commitment to extended deterrence," Biden added.

Biden said that U.S. assistance to South Korea is "important" given North Korea's growing nuclear threat and the "blatant" violation of United Nations sanctions by Kim Jong Un's regime.

President Yoon Suk Yeol
President Yoon Suk Yeol is on a six-day state visit to the United States, where he and his counterpart Joe Biden discussed ramping up the US security shield for South Korea. AFP / Jim WATSON