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Prime Minister Promises to Improve Stationing Conditions for USFK

Prime Minister Promises to Improve Stationing Conditions for USFK

Posted May. 09, 2003 21:40,   


Prime Minister Koh Gun said Friday, “The presence of the US forces in Korea has been and will be essential not only in preventing a war on the Korean Peninsular but also in stabilizing the Northeast Asian region. I firmly believe that the South Korea-US alliance as a frontline partnership will be further enhanced.”

The Prime Minister visited the headquarters of the US Second Infantry Division in Uijeongbu, Gyonggi Province Friday and said, “It is the US 2nd Infantry Division that symbolizes the South Korea-US military alliance.”

It is the first time that a Korean prime minister visited the field base of US forces since the foundation of the Korean government.

He told US 2nd Infantry Division commander Major General John Wood, “The purpose of today`s visit is to find out what the Korean government can do in order to improve stationing conditions for the US forces here to operate smoothly.” Prime Minister Koh also promised the US General, “The Korean government will make vigorous efforts to create favorable stationing environment for the US servicemen here such as widening training paths, building bridges and so on.”

Experts interpreted the Prime Minister`s today visit to the US 2nd infantry division as the government`s move to express its indirect objection to the relocation of the US infantry to south of Seoul.

During the Koh`s visit, he said, “President Roh instructed me to express his gratitude to the US 2nd infantry division for having made considerable contribution to preserving peace on the Korean Peninsular in the past 5 decades. In addition, he also promised that his government would exert its utmost efforts to improve stationing conditions for US soldiers in Korea after carefully listening to their opinions.”

In response, the US General said that respect and trust that have been displayed between the two allies is the major source of their morale and he thanked the President for giving a thoughtful consideration to the USFK.

Dong-Ki Sung esprit@donga.com