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Pres. Lee Pledges ‘Firm Action’ on Naval Mishap

Posted April. 20, 2010 06:31,   


President Lee Myung-bak yesterday pledged “firm action” on the sinking of the naval patrol vessel Cheonan in a radio and online speech mourning the ship’s fallen crewmen.

In an address aired live by the three major networks and cable news channels yesterday, he said, “As the president, I will shed light on every detail of what caused the Cheonan to sink and take stern countermeasures. I will not let such a tragedy happen again.”

“I will protect the nation with watertight security measures.”

He went on to say, “I will make our military much stronger. A strong military comes from not just powerful weapons but from strong moral strength. What we need the most at the moment is the latter.”

Expressing his commitment to review readiness in national security, the president said, “We must calmly look back on ourselves now. It is time to find out what we lack and what went wrong, and straighten things out.”

In a luncheon meeting with his advisory panel on foreign affairs and national security at the presidential house of Cheong Wa Dae, he was quoted as saying by his spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye, “The Cheonan incident should serve as an opportunity for us to strengthen our security awareness and take a second look at the national security system. The tragedy will reinforce our solidarity, and it is time for us to encourage each other.”

President Lee also attended a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the April 19 pro-democracy revolution at the National Cemetery for the April 19th Revolution. “Eradicating corruption is another challenge that the April 19 democratic movement has left us. To make Korea an advanced nation, the government will boldly remove any corrupted elements and add momentum to fundamental institutional improvement,” he said.

“It is time for politicians to look back on themselves to see whether they are relying on regionalism that instigates division and populism. They should pursue moderate and pragmatic politics that seek harmony and integration instead of opposition for the sake of it.”