Washington, DC -- James L. Witt, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and his counterpart in the Korean government will sign an agreement May 26 allowing both countries to exchange emergency management and disaster prevention strategies. Korea's Vice Minister Jae Young Kim will join Witt at FEMA headquarters for the official signing ceremony.
"We are pleased to be signing this agreement and helping Korea become more disaster resistant in the future," said Witt. "This is a historic moment in which I am pleased and proud to be a participant."
Officially called a Protocol of Intentions, the agreement between the two countries will allow a greater degree of cooperation in the area of disaster management. Specifically, the agreement will allow exchange visits between emergency managers and technical experts in prevention, preparedness and disaster response and recovery.
The agreement will allow Korea to, among other things, observe disaster operations and exercises in the U.S. A joint annual United States-Korea Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management Committee meeting is also planned. The agreement was initiated after visits to the U.S. by Dr. Won-cheol Cho, of Yonsei University, and Jie-Soon Kim, from the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs, and other officials in May 1999.