Go to contents

Yoon stresses ROK-US alliance on Memorial Day

Posted June. 07, 2023 08:24,   

Updated June. 07, 2023 08:24


South Korea stands upon the sacrifices and dedication of those who defended freedom against the forces of communism,” President Yoon Suk Yeol said during his Memorial Day commemorative speech on June 6, expressing his determination to honor the national heroes who sacrificed themselves for the Korean people, including those who perished in the Korean War, police officers, and firefighters. President Yoon further emphasized the strong alliance between South Korea and the United States. He stressed the importance of security based on strong ROK-US alliance, adding, "With the 'Washington Declaration,' the South Korea-US alliance has now been elevated to a 'nuclear-based alliance.’”

President Yoon attended the Memorial Day ceremony held at the Seoul National Cemetery in Dongjak-gu on Tuesday, mentioning North Korea's advancement in nuclear and missile capabilities and the legalization of nuclear weapon usage by the communist regime. "President Joe Biden and I jointly announced the 'Washington Declaration' in April, which significantly strengthens the execution of deterring the expansion of nuclear assets." President Yoon emphasized that his government and the military will establish an unwavering security posture based on a stronger South Korea-US alliance to protect the lives and safety of the citizens.

President Yoon, wearing the '121,879 Taegeukgi Badge' created by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs to commemorate the 121,879 Korean War fallen soldiers who have not yet returned to their families, entered the Seoul National Cemetery with the families of fallen soldiers, military personnel, police officers, coast guard officers, firefighters, and other uniformed heroes. The Presidential Office explained that it symbolizes the government's commitment to give the utmost respect to the families of heroes who dedicated themselves to the nation.

During the commemorative speech, President Yoon repeatedly mentioned words such as heroes, freedom (8 times), remembrance (6 times), sacrifice (5 times), and respect and dedication (4 times). "The dignity of a nation depends on how it remembers and recognizes its people," Yoon said, adding, "South Korea stands upon the sacrifices and dedication of those who dedicated themselves to the independence and the founding of a nation, as well as those who defended freedom against the forces of communism." President Yoon reaffirmed the classification of the Korean War as an invasion by communist forces, as he did in last year's Memorial Day commemorative speech.

President Yoon also personally awarded national merit certificates to five individuals, including Reservist Staff Sergeant Park Hyun-min, a surviving crew member of the Cheonan warship. The ceremony was attended by Chief Justice Kim Myeong-su, Auditor General Choe Jae-hae, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance Choo Kyeong-ho, Chairman Kim Seung-gyeom of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chairman Lee Jong-chan of the Heritage of Korean Independence, and approximately 7,000 attendees, including Chairman Kim Ki-hyeon of the People Power Party and Chairman Lee Jae-myung of the Democratic Party of Korea.

Joo-Young Jeon aimhigh@donga.com