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“Honorable record of South Korea-U.S. alliance … stepping stone toward a new future”

Sculpture symbolizing robust South Korea-U.S. alliance erected at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek

Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo and U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris attended the unveiling ceremony;
Under the theme “Tomorrow as One, Beautiful Companion,” the sculpture stands as an embodiment of South Korean and U.S. soldiers overcoming challenges


alliance


A sculpture representing the robust alliance between South Korea and the U.S. has been installed at Camp Humphreys, the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) headquarters, in Pyeongtaek.

On July 10, the Ministry of National Defense’s USFK Headquarters Relocation Project Team, USFK Command and American Chamber of Commerce in Korea held a ceremony to unveil a sculpture representing the South Korea-U.S. alliance at Camp Humphreys.

The sculpture is being installed in the hope that it will help spread the steady bilateral alliance and celebrate the relocation of the USFK headquarters from Yongsan to Pyeongtaek.  

The unveiling ceremony was attended by key officials involved in the South Korea-U.S. alliance, including Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Park Han-ki, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris, USFK Commander Robert Abrams and Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea James Kim.

Under the theme “Tomorrow as One, Beautiful Companion,” the main tower of the sculpture stands as an embodiment of South Korean and U.S. soldiers overcoming challenges as one unit.

“The main tower depicts Operation Chromite (also known as the Incheon Landing Operation), a battle that resulted in a decisive victory in the Korean War. It shows how South Korean and U.S soldiers overcame challenges as a single unit,” a ministry spokesperson explained. 

The ‘Wall of History’ is set around the main tower, and the ‘Clock of History’ and the Korean Peninsula sculpture are installed on the ground. 

The symbols of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, with the records of the characteristics of individual forces and the creation of the South Korea-U.S. troops, are exhibited on the right side of the main tower.

Key events during the Korean War are inscribed on the right side of the Wall of History, while the left side shows the timeline of the development of the South Korea-U.S. alliance since the war. The Clock of History shows major events related to the alliance since 1950 in chronological order, including the North’s invasion of the South, the signing of the armistice agreement, the creation of the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command and the relocation of the USFK to Pyeongtaek. The Korean Peninsula sculpture on the ground describes key battles and the fronts with victory and defeat during the war, highlighting that South Korean and U.S. soldiers defended this land as one unit. 

“This sculpture is an honorable record of the past and present of the South Korea-U.S. alliance, and at the same time will serve as a stepping stone toward a new future for the alliance," Jeong said, in his congratulatory remarks. “I believe that all the South Korean and U.S. soldiers who pause here will remember the noble sacrifices and devotion of the fallen soldiers, and will advance further towards the future of the South Korea-U.S. alliance that will lead global peace as well as peace on the Korean Peninsula,” he emphasized. Mentioning the three-way gathering of the South Korean, North Korean and U.S. leaders at Panmunjom on June 30, “The three-way gathering confirmed that the South Korea-U.S. alliance can reach a great achievement, not only to keep peace strong on this land but also to build a new peace paradigm,” Jeong said. “Leading the changing security situation on the Korean Peninsula, the two allies are cooperating closely to shape the future of the South Korea-U.S. alliance by transferring wartime operational control and building a new combined defense system. These changes will serve as a chance for the alliance to make a new leap forward,” he added. 

Jeong also expressed words of encouragement about the relocation of the USFK headquarters to Pyeongtaek. “As we open a new era for Pyeongtaek, the USFK will play a greater role in supporting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. While Yongsan was the source that formed the groundwork for the alliance, I believe that Pyeongtaek will become a new base for the future of the South Korea-U.S. alliance,” he said. “I expect a new start for the USFK, and a bright future for the South Korea-U.S. alliance, as peace and prosperity on the peninsula grow,” he added.

U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris said that the unshakable South Korea-U.S. alliance will “remain strong for a long time if the two allies continue fostering and investing in the alliance, as well as reconfirming their commitment.” “I believe that South Korean and U.S. soldiers will be able to continue a proud tradition of maintaining peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and in the region,” he added. 

USFK Commander Robert Abrams said that the sculpture stands as a “token of the South Korea-U.S. alliance, an important record of its past and a symbol of its unrecorded future.” “The alliance goes beyond the idea of security. It relates to relations based on the two allies’ commitment to common values and memories. Let’s unite, as we focus on our everlasting and unshakable alliance,” he also emphasized. 

 

By Su-Yeol, Maeng < guns13@dema.mil.kr >

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