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“Let’s keep working together until the end, for a great alliance between South Korea and the US”

President Moon Jae-in invites top South Korea and United States military commanders to Cheong Wa Dae

Moon stressed the role the countries can play in peace in Northeast Asia, beyond the Korean Peninsula;
praised the two countries for their mutual assistance in responding to North Korea’s recent launches of projectiles: 
“We can keep the momentum for alive for dialogue, in a calm and restrained voice” 


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On May 21st, in a luncheon meeting with top military leaders of South Korea and the United States at Cheong Wa dae, President Moon Jae-in stressed that the South Korea-US alliance will play an important role in the peace and stability of all of Northeast Asia, even after peace is established on the Korean Peninsula through the power of the alliance. 

President Moon said, “I believe the South Korea-US alliance plays a key role in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, as well as in all of Northeast Asia,” and added, “In that sense, the alliance between our two countries can never be thought of as temporary. I believe it is a permanent alliance that will be developed further for greatness. Let’s keep working together until the end for a great alliance between our two countries.”

It is uncommon for the top military leaders from South Korea and the United States to be invited to Cheong Wa Dae at the same time. On the recent situation of the Korean Peninsula, President Moon said “What we've achieved so far for the inter-Korean peace process complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of permanent peace was based on a firm South Korea-US alliance and an impenetrable military combined readiness posture,” noting that we could continue measures to ease military tensions between the two Koreas while implementing the inter-Korean military agreement, including the withdrawal of guard posts on a trial basis, joint evacuation of war remains at the demilitarized zone (DMZ), and the demilitarization of the Joint Security Area (JSA). 

“The firmness of the South Korea-US alliance and the close cooperation between our two countries were clearly evident during our joint response to North Korea’s recent launches of projectiles, including short-range missiles,” President Moon said, stressing that the two countries were able to maintain the momentum for dialogue as long as North Korea does not stage new, additional provocations because the two countries issued a very calm and restrained message in a united voice amid close cooperation and consultation. “The second US-North Korea summit in Hanoi (Vietnam) ended without an agreement, but the momentum for dialogue is still being maintained not only because of the personal trust between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but also due to the changed mood on the Korean Peninsula,” Moon added.

“This kind of readiness posture between the two allies makes our alliance stronger, and prepares us for any potential crisis or future threat,” US Forces Korea (USFK) Commander Robert Abrams commented to Moon in reply.

Allied military leaders invited to the luncheon included Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Park Han-ki, Deputy Commander of South Korea-US Combined Forces Command Choi Byung-hyuk, Army Chief of Staff General Suh Wook, Navy Chief of Staff General Shim Seung-seop, Air Force Chief of Staff General Won In-choul, Marine Corps Chief Lee Seung-do, USFK Commander Robert Abrams, USFK Deputy Commander Kenneth S. Wilsbach, USFK Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans and Policy James W. Lukeman, Special Operations Command Korea Commander Tony D. Bauernfeind, and Eighth Army Deputy Commander Patrick J. Donahoe. 


By Joo-Hyeong, Lee < jataka@dema.mil.kr >

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