Posted July. 08, 2015 01:21,
South Korea`s Defense Minister Han Min-koo will become the first defense chief to deliver a commemorative speech honoring sailors who were killed in action during the June 29, 2002 naval clash with North Korea.
An official at Seoul`s Ministry of National Defense said Tuesday that the minister plans to honor the six fallen Navy soldiers, including the late Lieutenant Commander Yoon Young-ha, at a ceremony commemorating the 13th anniversary of the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong to be held at the Navy`s Second Fleet Command in Pyeongtaek on June 29. In a remembrance speech, the minister will reportedly send a strong message of warning to the North.
It is unusual for a defense minister to deliver a speech at an event organized by a Navy chief of staff. Between 2003 and 2006, no defense minister attended the ceremony. A defense minister accompanied a prime minister between 2007 and 2011 and a president in 2012. Some observers say that Han`s planned speech reflects the mounting public interest in the recently released film on the naval clash that has attracted more than one million moviegoers.
The six fallen soldiers have been born again as the South Korean Navy`s next-generation PKG (Patrol Killer, Guided Missile) class vessels. On Monday, the Navy conducted a maritime maneuver drill in the Yellow Sea where all of the six PKG ships named after the six participated. It was the second time for all the six vessels to conduct a drill together but the first time since they were reassigned to the Second Fleet.