Published: Feb 06, 2013 11:22 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State John Kerry is vowing that that United States will not retreat from the world stage due to budget constraints or the complexity of global challenges.
    
Speaking after being ceremonially sworn into office by Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday, Kerry said his military service in Vietnam taught him the cost of failed diplomacy. He said he was committed to working for peace but would not shy away from defending America, its values or ideals if they come under threat from extremism, terrorism, chaos or evil.
    
America, Kerry said to applause, does exceptional things on which the world depends and will continue to do so.
    
Wednesday's ceremony was entirely symbolic as Kerry had already taken the oath in private on Friday and begun his new job this week.

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