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Special Contribution for Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Korean-American Mutual Defense Agreement

Special Contribution for Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Korean-American Mutual Defense Agreement

Posted October. 01, 2003 23:22,   


Fifty years ago, the governments of Korea and the U.S. have strengthened bilateral treaties and established the foundation of a modern partnership. On Octoer 1, 1953, both countries signed the Korean-American Mutual Defense Agreement and publicized their military alliance. Presently in the year of 2003, the agreement has a bigger meaning than just a simple military partnership - for the last five decades, both countries have been establishing close socio-economic relationship and true friendship.

Going through Korea’s entire history, the agreement has so far lasted only five decades and has a short history. Korea during those years has gone through tremendous changes. Korea has developed into a country of mature democracy and has become the 12th-richest economy in the world - partly due to security that the agreement has provided. The partnership and the military closeness between both countries enabled numerious active business partnerships between the two countries’ people, schools, and companies. The close relationship and its variety are our greatest power and the driving force against all the challenges that we have faced together. The citizens of the two countries have established close relationships and have an understanding on our common values. We both understand the value of liberty and hard work and dedicate ourselves for the purpose of bettering the lives of people in the world.

When we are faced with problems, we seek out solutions as partners. Also, we have deliberately brought peace and prosperity to nations without freedom and civil rights. We have both cooperated and worked together to help promote democracy in East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and many other places, so that they may enjoy freedom as much as we do. Many countries in the world have been appreciating and thinking highly of Korea’s will and leadership that helped bring in peace and democracy. We are both cooperating on finding solutions that will resolve the issue of nuclear weapons in North Korea. We are also eager to give hope and bring democracy to the citizens of North Korea by resolving the issues with peaceful measures. We could use Korea as an example of modern democracy development and give the North Korean people hope and a chance to seek liberty and peace accompanying democracy.

Our common values, forming our histories, have nurtured economic relations between both countries. Our economic ties are strong and is getting stronger every year. Last year, the amount of trade between the two countries was 60 billion dollars. It is obvious that our trade relations are crucial to each other. Our economic relationship will be forever in prosperity and development if we are dedicated on the principles of an open market and democracy.

Our common values have united our people. The cultural exchanges, as well as exchanges in education, have enriched our people’s lives and deepened our understanding of each other. Last year, the number of Korean students studying in the U.S. was 49,000 - ranking third place among all the foreign students studying in the U.S. This kind of exchange will strengthen both countries’ alliance and friendship on the basis of its strong establishment throughout the last five decades. This year will be the 100th anniversary of Koreans emmigrating to the U.S., celebrating Korean-Americans’ dedication to American society, economy, politics, and culture. Therefore, the celebration taking place today is not just political but is meaningful to all of us. As partners, we have established a strong political and economic closeness as well as a solid friendship. So, today we are celebrating the friendship of the two countries. I am very proud and honored to work as an American Ambassador at this significant moment of our history. As we retrospect on the acheivements of last five decades, we surely deserve the celebration and pride. We can foresee a brighter future together through continuing partnership, relying on our common values.