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“Never forget the soldiers who sacrificed their lives while def...

Commemorated the 55 soldiers who sacrificed their lives guarding our territorial waters

Prayed for a peaceful West Sea, with no more conflict and sacrifice

“We cannot ease our national defense based on hope alone”

Promised respectful treatment for persons of national merit


On March 23, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said that the waters around the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the West Sea will become a site for exchanges and cooperation between the two Koreas and a common national prosperity once peace is made on the Korean Peninsula, emphasizing that we should continue to strongly guard the West Sea.

"The West Sea serves as a source of livelihood for many Korean people, and is a repository of rich fishery resources and a valuable ecological environment," Prime Minister Lee said at the third anniversary ceremony of "West Sea Defense Day," which was held at the Daejon National Cemetery on the morning of that day.

In 2016, the government named the fourth Friday of March "West Sea Defense Day" to commemorate 55 soldiers who have sacrificed their lives to guard the West Sea, in the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong (six soldiers), the Cheonanham sinking (47 soldiers), and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island (2 soldiers), and has observed "West Sea Defense Day" each year since.

"The West Sea faces constant threats from the North. Our soldiers have risked their lives to guard the West Sea. We have not given up an inch in the West Sea, and we cannot do so in the future," Lee said.

"I hope the coming series of highest-level talks will result in North Korea's denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, so that there will be no more armed conflicts and painful sacrifices on the West Sea," Lee said, remarking on the recent situation on the Korean Peninsula.

"But we cannot loosen our national defense based on this hope alone. We have to continue to invariably guard the West Sea, and we will do so. The government is well aware that we cannot ensure peace without firm national defense," he said.

He did not forget to mention the importance of respect for the dedication and sacrifices made for the country by national persons of merit.

“The government will do its utmost to honorably commemorate and treat with respect those who sacrificed themselves to defend the country. We will continue to soothe the physical and mental scars that are still borne by the wounded," he said.

"We will never forget the sublime sacrifices of the soldiers who guarded the West Sea," Lee commented, adding that South Korea would guard the West Sea by remembering the sacrifices made by the fallen heroes, and work tirelessly for the peace and prosperity of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Peninsula.

Meanwhile, various related events will be held around the 23rd of March in 50 regions, including 13 metropolitan cities and provinces. 270 events, including the West Sea Defense Walking Festival, a photo exhibition, a visit to the West Sea Defense site, and a literary activity, will be hosted by government offices of patriots and veterans affairs across the country.

 

 


By Joo-Hyeong, Lee < jataka@dema.mil.kr >
<Copyright The Korea Defense Daily, All rights reserved>

Never forget the soldiers who sacrificed their lives while defending the West Sea
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