Governor Larry Hogan – Official Website of the Governor of Maryland

Annapolis, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today delivered a keynote address at the 2022 Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity as part of his Asia Trade Mission to Korea and Japan. The world summit, which was launched in 2001, brings together world leaders and experts to discuss international affairs and ways to promote world peace.

Here are the governor’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

Thanks. I want to start by expressing my gratitude to the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, the people of Jeju and Korea for their warm welcome and hospitality.

We appreciate the enduring alliance and special friendship between the Republic of Korea, the State of Maryland and the United States of America.

We are here for a week-long trade mission to Korea as we continue to strengthen the partnership between our two regions.

I would like to pay tribute to my beautiful wife, Yumi, the first lady of Maryland, who grew up here in Korea.

Yumi is proud of her Korean heritage and she does a great job representing the people of Maryland and the United States of America.

I am proud to be called “hanguk sahwi”, a Korean son-in-law.

We are grateful for this opportunity to join so many distinguished leaders who share the same goal of a more peaceful and prosperous future for all. Jeju is truly a global symbol of peace and prosperity.

In 1991, South Korean President Roh Tae-Woo invited Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev for a historic and significant summit here. He was the first Soviet leader to visit South Korea.

A few years ago, such a meeting would have been unthinkable.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Soviet Union was on the march, violently occupying Afghanistan and shooting down a Korean plane, tragically killing 269 innocent people.

The threat of nuclear conflict was real. Some have wondered if the free world has perhaps seen its hour in the sun.

At that time, I was working for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign. Reagan firmly rejected the pessimism that had infected our politics. He believed in the power of a determined and confident free people.

He called on the free world to “not just contain communism” but to “transcend communism” with “a crusade for freedom that will engage the faith and courage of the next generation.”

Reagan said, “In the interest of peace and justice, let us move towards a world in which all people are at least free to determine their destiny.”

He worked with America’s allies to push back the rise of communism and bring the Soviet Union on its heels.

Reagan secured peace by working with Mikhail Gorbachev to end the Cold War without a shot being fired.

In a Nobel lecture, Gorbachev described what he and Ronald Reagan knew but few others understood.

Gorbachev said, “To a casual observer, the Soviet Union seemed to present an image of relative well-being, stability, and order. The misinformed society under the spell of propaganda was barely aware of what was happening and what the immediate future held.

Today we are once again at a pivotal moment in the history of the world.

Russia has invaded a peaceful neighbor in Ukraine. North Korea and Iran are emerging nuclear powers and reckless aggressors.

China threatens Taiwan and seeks to dominate Asia and the world. Many wonder if the free world still has the will to lead.

To those who still doubt the free world, I would say, don’t bet against freedom and democracy.

All over the world, people still yearn to live in freedom.

President Zelensky and the brave people of Ukraine have reminded the world of the power of the human heart that yearns to be free.

Australia’s position in favor of economic sovereignty shows us that power cannot be sustained by coercion alone.

The historic success of developing and deploying COVID-19 vaccines in the United States confirms that innovation and prosperity cannot be dictated by a centralized state.

Images of a divided America have been amplified by our adversaries to cast doubt on America’s ability to hold together behind its core values.

But Americans are not as divided as it seems.

In Maryland, we showed a better way forward. I am a Republican governor, elected in the most democratic state in America.

For eight years, we have brought together all of our citizens, regardless of age, race, gender or party affiliation, to find common-sense, bipartisan solutions.

When COVID-19 hit our shores, I was chair of US Governors as Governors from both sides of the aisle rallied together on the frontlines.

We have understood that in times of crisis, partisan politics must be set aside. Despite our differences, there is much more that unites us than divides us.

Most of us want the same thing. We have not renounced the values ​​of freedom and democracy.

We want leaders who can discuss and debate with as much civility as passion and with a view to persuading, not intimidating, encouraging, not demonizing or defeating.

We believe that free and fair trade can be mutually beneficial.

We want to work with our allies for peace and prosperity. We always believe that everyone deserves a chance to achieve their dreams.

We still believe in a nation where an immigrant born on a chicken farm in Korea’s Jeollanam-do province can grow up to be the very first Korean-born First Lady of any state in American history.

Yet, even as we remain confident in the values ​​of the free world, we must not fail to recognize that we find ourselves at a fragile and dangerous moment in history.

Authoritarianism is most dangerous when it is challenged and in decline.

Last year, Mikhail Gorbachev addressed this same forum here in Jeju. Unfortunately, just a few weeks ago, we lost him.

Many other great leaders like Reagan, who brought about the peaceful end of the Cold War, are no longer with us.

The task of securing peace and prosperity in our time now rests with world leaders gathered at this Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity here today.

Let’s rise to the challenge and rise to this moment.

Let us work together towards peace, prosperity and a brighter future for all who seek it.

Let us remain united behind the enduring values ​​of freedom and democracy.


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