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Former defense attaché receives the Legion of Merit, getting cre...


Former defense attaché receives the Legion of Merit, getting credit for his contribution to Korea-U.S. security cooperation




Former defense attaché to the U.S., Lee Seo-young, (36th army cadet, retired major general) has received the Legion of Merit from the U.S. government. This is a prime grade medal that the U.S. government awards to the foreign military.


The U.S. Ambassador to Korea, Sung Kim, representing the US government, awarded the Legion of Merit to retired General Lee Seo-young at the U.S. Embassy in Korea on March 2. Ambassador Sung Kim shared pleasant conversation with General Lee (Ret.) for about 20 minutes, then held the medal ceremony.


General Lee worked in the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the U.S. from February 2011 to last year, and he got credit for significant contribution to enhancement of the alliance and improvement of security cooperation between Korea and the U.S. He also strengthened relations between U.S. generals who served in Korea and 6·25 war veterans and raised the Korean Army's status through active military diplomacy.


He is particularly recognized for taking a considerable role in effective Korea-U.S. combined response and restraint from North Korea‘s provocation by closely cooperating with U.S. counterparts when Korea faced a security crisis due to North Korea’s nuclear experiment and long-range missile firing.


Ambassador Sung Kim said, “As an admirable soldier and excellent military diplomat, General Lee (Ret.) has solidified relations of the alliance between the two countries and greatly contributed to restraining North Korea’s provocation and solving pending issues about Korea-U.S. security, hence, on behalf of the U.S. government, I thank General Lee and expect him to take on a greater role for further development of the future the Korea-U.S. alliance.”


General Lee (Ret.) was awarded the Order of Military Merit Hwarang in 2006 for outstanding military diplomacy and operation coordination when he was shipped to Baghdad, Iraq, and served as a Cooperation Chief of the Korean Army at MNF-I. He was also decorated with a Bronze Star Medal, which is awarded to a soldier who has made a great contribution in wartime.


Moreover, his father, the late Lee Myeong-seung, served in the 6·25 Korean War as an officer and received the Order of Military Merit Hwarang, and his uncle, the late Lee Hun-seung, who died in the Vietnam War, was awarded the Order of Military Merit Inheon as well.


“The Korea-U.S. alliance has deterred wars for the last 60 years and played a major part for our freedom, peace and prosperity. Today’s alliance between the two countries is stronger than ever before. I find myself greatly rewarded to contribute to the enhancement of the Korea-U.S. alliance serving as a defense attaché in the U.S. and will continue to make an effort for developing the alliance and promoting friendship between the two,” said General Lee (Ret.).


By Yeong-Sun, Lee < >
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