WASHINGTON— Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah Saldaña, and DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy Alan Bersin met with Korean Minister of Justice Kim Hyun-Woong and Deputy Minister of Justice Jin Kyung-Joon to discuss a range of shared homeland security-related issues, including law enforcement collaboration, the facilitation of legitimate travel, and efforts to support the repatriation of stolen assets.
Secretary Johnson and Ministers Kim and Jin discussed the role that ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) plays in facilitating the return of stolen assets. Secretary Johnson highlighted the collaboration between ICE HSI and the Department of Justice in the repatriation of assets totaling $1.13 million. These assets were the resulting proceeds from a public corruption scheme by former Korean President Chun Doo Hwan, who was convicted in 1996 on multiple criminal charges, including corruption and the acceptance of bribes. The funds were laundered to the United States by the former president’s family members and associates.
Both sides also underscored the Visa Waiver Program’s value for promoting lawful travel with the United States’ most trusted partners, including the Republic of Korea. Secretary Johnson highlighted the importance of implementing security enhancements to the program and the Department’s efforts with the Department of State and other Federal agencies to introduce a number of additional or revised security criteria for all members of the Visa Waiver Program. Minister Kim noted the Republic of Korea’s commitment to the 2012 reciprocal agreement between the trusted traveler programs of the United States and the Republic of Korea, which reflect the longstanding and robust security relationship between the two countries.
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson meets with Korean Minister of Justice Kim Hyun-Woong to discuss a range of shared homeland security-related issues in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015. (DHS Photo/Barry Bahler)