A ceremony to mark the 71st Armed Forces Day was held at an Air Force base in the southeastern city of Daegu on Tuesday with President Moon Jae-in in attendance. It was the first time that the annual event took place at the Air Force’s 11th Fighter Wing base with F-15K fighter jets.
“Peace is something to make, not to keep,” said President Moon, after arriving at the airport in the country’s indigenous multi-role chopper “Surion.” “Our military’s airtight security supports dialogue and cooperation and enables us to take an audacious step toward permanent peace.” Moon also stressed his liberal administration’s peace process, saying that everyone living in the Korean Peninsula should be able to enjoy peace and prosperity. “The root of the nation’s armed forces lies in independence movements and patriotism,” Moon said. From armed fights for independence through the Korean War and to the post-war era, our military has always perfectly performed its duty, he added. Yet, Moon did not make mention of North Korea’s missile provocations during his address.
At this year’s ceremony, the military showcased its F-35A stealth fighters to the public for the first time, along with its high-tech fighters and advanced missiles including Hyunmoo II ballistic and Hyunmoo III cruise missiles. President Moon, together with Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo, inspected some 50 units of 13 defense assets including an early warning system and an inflight tanker.
A military source said that the administration seems to have used Tuesday’s event to stress the military’s readiness posture and to counter criticism against its security policies toward North Korea, which was intensified when Pyongyang carried out a series of provocations and Seoul announced its decision to leave the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) with Japan amid political and diplomatic rows.
Sang-Jun Han firstname.lastname@example.org