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Hagel Marks, Praises 60 Years of U.S.-South Korea Alliance

Compliments of:

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

 

The 60-year alliance between the United States and South Korea started as a military treaty to defend the south from the communist north, but it has grown to become an unbreakable bond between two countries that share friendship and values, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said here yesterday.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a 60th anniversary gala celebrating the U.S.-South Korea alliance at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., May 7, 2013. Hagel met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye before the event to discuss bilateral relations. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Hagel spoke at a dinner at the Smithsonian Institution honoring the alliance along with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

The alliance was forged during the 1950-53 Korean War when nations around the world stood united against aggression. More than 33,600 U.S. service members were killed in the conflict.

Hagel saluted American Korean War veterans who attended the dinner and said their sacrifices made possible the alliance, “which remains vital to the interests of both of our nations and a cornerstone of stability in Northeast Asia.”

The alliance has been extremely successful, with South Korea rising from one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the richest over the past 60 years.

U.S. and South Korean service members work in concert on the peninsula and also around the world, Hagel said. He remembers standing shoulder-to-shoulder with South Korean infantrymen who deployed to Vietnam in the 1960s.

“I served alongside South Korean soldiers in Vietnam in 1968,” the secretary said. “They were some of the toughest, bravest fighting men I have ever encountered, and some of the most dependable.”

They continue to be steadfast allies. “In Afghanistan, the Republic of Korea once again stepped forward,” Hagel said.

U.S. and South Korean service members work together around the world for global security, “and we will stand together in the future,” Hagel said. From the Horn of Africa, to South Sudan, to a number of United Nations peacekeeping efforts, South Korea contributes to global security.

The United States remains fully committed to South Korea’s security, and will provide personnel and military capabilities needed to maintain security on the Korean Peninsula, the defense secretary said.

Hagel praised Park for her leadership during a very challenging time, and said he looks forward to visiting South Korea later this year to help deepen “this partnership that for so long been a force for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific.”

Park met with President Barack Obama at the White House yesterday, and she will speak to a joint session of Congress today.

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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