Welcoming Remarks for Korea America Year-End Friendship Night

Robert Rapson, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, U.S. Embassy Seoul,
Robert Abrams, Commander of UNC/CFC/USFK and Mrs. Abrams,
Former Minister of National Defense Kim Dong-shin and Mrs. Kim,
General Choi Byung-hyuk, Deputy Commander of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command and Mrs. Choi,
Distinguished guests from U.S. Embassy and key staffs of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command,
Our active event sponsors and members of the Korea America Friendship Society,
Ladies and gentlemen!

The eventful 2019 is drawing to a close. I would like to thank all of you for attending the tonight’s event to wrap up this year at a very busy time. I wish you a Merry Christmas and blessed new year.

Ladies and gentlemen!
In this time of sharing virtue and blessings, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is being threatened the peace by North Korea’s nuclear ambition and constant missile tests, so it is just the time that the strong alliance and combined readiness posture of ROK and U.S. is desperately required to cope with the situation and is also being tested and challenged in the same time.

First of all, I would like to express my deep appreciation and high praise for Ambassador Harry Harris of the U.S. Embassy to Seoul, and Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Rapson who is here as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim on behalf of the Ambassador. They are doing their best to strengthen and develop the ROK-US alliance, despite the prevailing uncertainty and turbulent situation.

Ladies and gentlemen!
Please give a big applause and thank to Robert Rapson, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim!

And at this time, I would like to express my sincere gratitude and utmost belief to Commander Robert Abrams of the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command and his soldiers who are devoting themselves to deter North Korea’s war provocations and protect the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula by maintaining the utmost combined readiness posture day and night.

Ladies and gentlemen! Please send a warm round of applause to Commander Robert Abrams.

The ROK-U.S. alliance has been an unprecedented success in a world that has preserved peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula which we fought together and blood-pledged in the Korean War. The ROK-U.S. alliance is not just an alliance, but a blood alliance, and we have further strengthened our relationship by fighting together in the Vietnam and the Middle East War.

Nevertheless, there were many challenges and hardships because of the unfortunate incidents, and was challenged more than just hardship by the changes in the surrounding circumstances, the different situation between the two countries and the antagonists who tried to drive it apart. But we have wisely overcome these challenges and hardships.

Thereby, we have become more reliable and stronger allies. The challenges and hardships we face now are also formidable. Those are the continuing North Korean nuclear ambition, the GISOMIA issue, and the Special Measure Agreement(SMA) issue, etc.

– The North Korean nuclear issue must be resolved in a CVID manner.
– The GISOMIA must be maintained.
– The SMA must be successfully agreed upon by the two countries’ wisdom

I’m confident that we will successfully overcome the current hardships and challenges. The reasons are the followings.

First, we have a common goal and value to protect free democracy to develop a market economy and achieve peaceful unification in this land.

Second, We trust our 70 years of successful experience and history.

Third, there is an absolute majority of the people who support these precious values, goals, and experiences absolutely.

We now constantly shout “Let’s go together” to keep our common values and goals and to inherit 70 years of successful experience and history.

We, Korea America Friendship Society, will take the lead in making this effort with you. In the sense of determination, Everyone! Please give a big round of applause.

Tonight, we prepared this party to cement the resolve of the two peoples and to ensure unity. Please enjoy the tonight’s event, dinner, good company and performance.

I sincerely thank all the sponsors who have supported for tonight’s event. In particular, I would like to thank Chairman Park Jung-soo and all the members of the Preparation Committee for the event.

I wish all of you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Let’s shout “Let’s go together.” “Kachi-Kapshida!

Thank you.



Welcoming Remarks for Korea America Year End Friendship Night

Shon, Kyung Shik

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to extend my most sincere welcome and thanks to General Robert Abrams, the Commander of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command, General Byung Hyuk Choi, the Deputy Commander of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command,
General Michael Bills, the Commander of the Eighth U.S. Army,
Mr. Robert Rapson, the Deputy Chief of Mission to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul,
And many other distinguished guests attending tonight’s event.
I would also like to thank President Jin Ha Hwang for organizing and putting together this wonderful event.

2019 is coming to a close, and it has been a year filled with a lot of changes and events in Korea.

First of all, Korea’s economic growth has been slowing down. There are many reasons for this, including the trade dispute between the U.S. and China, which has had a huge impact. However, this phenomenon is mostly in line with the global economic downturn, and the government should be more considerate in terms of policy-making to promote investment.

Secondly, there is the dispute between Korea and Japan regarding the import and export of strategic materials. I am referring to the tension and discord caused by Japan removing Korea from its list of favored economic partners, with Korea taking steps towards withdrawing from the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) in protest.

There has been a growing trend of Koreans boycotting Japanese products and refraining from traveling to Japan as a sign of protest as well. However, the two countries are so close to each other geographically and share a similar lifestyle, and economic cooperation and cultural exchange between the two countries are still ongoing in the private sector. I am sure this dispute will be resolved shortly.

Lastly, while negotiations are ongoing between the U.S. and North Korea, Korea and the U.S. are having some difficulty over issues such as sharing of the defense costs. It is true that some Koreans are concerned about it. However, I am sure the two countries will reach a wise solution based on trust regarding this issue as well.

Korea and the U.S. have been firm allies for the past 60 years. The U.S. protected this country at the cost of countless American youths during the Korean War. We are deeply grateful to the US. Korea has also fought alongside the U.S. in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today, Korea and the U.S. are strong military allies and active trading partners, and we cooperate with each other in the international stage with the same political and cultural values.

Furthermore, I believe that Korea, the U.S., and Japan must work together to establish peace in Northeast Asia and the rest of the world. Korea and the U.S is a very special relationship which has been no case at all throughout the history and today as well. In order to do so, we must be more understanding and trusting of each other, even if there may be some occasional discords.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Again, 2019 is coming to an end soon. I hope you all had a wonderful 2019, and I wish that 2020 is an even better. year filled with happiness and joy for everyone here tonight.
And I hope the Korea-U.S. alliance grows stronger than ever before in 2020.

Thank you very much.


Commemoration Remarks for Korea America Year End Friendship Night

Robert Rapson
Charge d’ Affaires ad interim, U.S. Embassy Seoul

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
Permit me, in English, to begin by thanking President Hwang, Chairman Sohn, and the Korea America Friendship Society for inviting me to this premiere gala event celebrating our alliance. I also like to extend best wishes from my boss Ambassador Harris who very much wished he could be here tonight as well.

You all heard this before. But it bears repeating. The United States has no better friend and partner than the Republic of Korea; America’s lynch pin, an ally in the East Asia region.

Ours is an alliance forged in battle. Tempered by our shared commitment. And deepened and strengthened by successive generations of ROK and U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines as well as diplomats, civilians, and just plain ordinary citizens.

The last several decades had seen the flourishing of our bilateral partnership to include robust economic and investment relations, deepening people to people ties, and expanding joint efforts to promote democracy, the rule of law, and free and fair trade.

We are now also extending the reach of our partnership through initiatives such as our Indo-Pacific Strategy and Korea’s New Southern Policy, which will help to promote peace and prosperity throughout the region.

Over the past year and a half, under the leadership of President Trump and President Moon, we have made historic moves to break the decades long deadlock with Pyongyang. The United States remains ready to proceed, in parallel with final fully verified denuclearization, with steps to help establish an enduring peace on the Korean Peninsula.

However, as this audience knows all too well, while creating room for diplomacy to work, we must maintain readiness, And readiness is what both our terrific armed forces do so well on day-in and day-out basis. Thank you for your service that protects us all. How about a round of applause?

Tonight, I also like to take a moment to remember Specialist Nicholas Pene Pinto. A young U.S. service member who was killed in a training exercise in Pyongtaek last month.

In remembrance of his life, lost in service to his country, in the cause of security and stability on the Korean Peninsula, we are pointedly reminded that freedom is not free. Even in the time of peace, it is a struggle. And as our alliance faces challenges as it always has, we will overcome those challenges as we always do.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me close by thanking the Korea America Friendship Society for holding this wonderful event. Your good works and dedication to the alliance play such a key role in maintaining close tie and friendship between our two countries. Keep it up.

Thank you again for inviting me to speak tonight. 같이 갑시다!


Commeration Remarks for Korea America Year End Friendship Night

GEN Robert B. Abrams
Commander, UNC/CFC/USFK

Thank you for inviting me and Connie to join you here this evening and giving me a chance to speak. General Hwang and the Korea America Friendship Society, thank you for hosting this great event.

Tonight is a celebration of the ROK-US Alliance and the many friendships it has cultivated over many years. It is also a chance to recognize the great work done by the Korea America Friendship Society throughout the year.

Korea America Friendship Society has sponsored music concerts, seminars, and social events with United Nations Forces Command, Combined Forces Command, and U.S. Forces Personnel. All of those events are instrumental in strengthening the bond between American serivce members and our Korean hosts.

The support we receive from our committed partners and Korea America Friendship Society is invaluable. It is the foundation for many of our past and present friendships.

These are friendships that have stood the test of time. They are friendships that will endure as long as we continue to stand side by side.

With leaders like all of you and friends such as those at the Korea America Friendship Society, I am supremely confident that the Republic of Korea and the United States alliance will remain unbreakable.

On behalf of the over 28,000 U.S. service members and families living here in Korea, thank you. Thank you for your friendship. What you do matters to them, it matters to me, it matters to our great nations. Because of you, the Republic of Korea-U.S. alliance is iron clad. And the most capable joint war fighting force in the world.

같이 갑시다! 감사합니다!


Welcoming Remarks for 2019 Korea America Friendship Night

Honorable Park Jae-min, Vice Minister, Ministry of National Defense,
General Choi, Byung Hyuk, Deputy Commander of ROK-US Combined Forces Command, and his lovely wife,
Major General Stephan Williams, and his lovely wife,
Mr. Mitchell R. Moss, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs, U.S. Embassy Seoul,
Distinguished guests from U.S. Embassy,
Recipients of the Korea America Friendship Society Awards and Exemplary USFK service members,
Our active event sponsors,
Proud members of Korea America Friendship Society,
Ladies and Gentlemen!

Let me first express my sincere gratitude to everyone for taking the time out of your busy schedule to attend tonight’s event.

The Korea America Friendship Society has been hosting the Korea America Friendship Night successfully every year, referred to as ‘June Festival’, lest we forget the Korean War and to comfort the U.S. service members who has been doing their best to keep the freedom and peace on the Korean Peninsula, and to strengthen our resolve of the ROK-US alliance.

Ten days later we will again commemorate the 69th anniversary of the Korean War, and current situation on the Korean Peninsula remains unstable, just like a camouflaged peace but tension, because North Korea continuously objects to denuclearize. Therefore further solid and robust ROK-US alliance is even more critical than ever.

Under such a significant circumstances, I strongly believe that we are very fortunate and it is truly a blessing for Korean people that we are having Ambassador Harry Harris and General Abrams, Commander of ROK-US Combined Forces Command/United States Forces Korea with us who have exceptional leadership and special affection for Korea.

Ambassador Harry Harris served as the Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, which restructured recently as the USINDOPACOM before coming to Seoul as an Ambassador, and he has full Knowledge of the strategic importance of Pacific area, particularly on Korean peninsula and has a clear vision to deter war on the Korean peninsular. So I am confident that he is the most qualified Ambassador to Seoul. I already assured it through the in-depth dialogue with him when I visited to his office when he was the Commander of US Pacific Command and I was the Chairman of the National Defense Committee of the National Assembly then, So I again, would like to commend and pay respect to him.

Also, I would like to recognize General Robert Abrams, Commander of the ROK-US Combined Forces family whole dedication themselves to the peace of the Korean peninsular and give infinite confidence to him and courageous leadership. And I am convinced that he will carry out his important mission successfully with the strongest and utmost ROK-US combined readiness posture.

He is a member of the Abraham’s family whose father, brother and himself have contributed to the peace of the Korean Peninsula with deep affection for Republic of Korea, so the US military is very much proud of him.

General Choi, Byung Hyuk, Deputy Commander of ROK-US Combined Forces Command, served as the commanders of elite Division and the Corps of ROK Army. As he graduated from U.S. Army War College, Carlile Barracks Pennsylvania, and served the key post at the ROK-US Combined Forces Command, he is known as the best expert on combined operation. I am confident General Choi and General Abrams will make a perfect duo in making and demonstrating the vigilant and unbeatable combined readiness posture.

There is an old saying in Korea, “No single weak subordinate can be under brave General” like in English “A good general will make good men.” I am certain that ROK-US combined warriors are truly the strongest one in the world trained under and by the exceptional leadership of Ambassador Harry Harris and General Abrams, who are part of this historic legacy and tradition of the ROK-US alliance.

Ladies and gentlemen, At this juncture Why don’t we give them the warmest round of applause.

Tonight, we are gathered here to strengthen our alliance and our friendship. At this meaningful opportunity, let us promise each other to do our best to promote the robust ROK-US alliance and friendship. And please enjoy the meal, the performance, and let’s heat friendship up.

Before concluding my speech, I would like to recognize preparation committee chairman Chung Eui Sung’s devoted efforts, and special thanks to the members of Korea America Friendship Society and everyone who actively sponsored for tonight’s event.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I solicit your warmest round of applause to chairman Jung and all the sponsors to express our appreciation, and again to cheer up USFK warriors.

We go together! Let’s go together!
Thank you very much!

Commemoration Remarks for Korea American Friendship Night

Good Evening, I am the Vice Minister of the Ministry of National Defense Park Jae-Min.

Firstly, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to President Hwang Jin Ha, the members of the Korea-America Friendship Society and distinguished guests for participating in this event with their deep interest in the ROK-U.S. Alliance.

The ROK-U.S. Alliance made great contributions to not only the defense of the ROK but also to its development of free democracy and economic prosperity. In particular, the dynamic changes to the security environment around the Korean Peninsula that we had witnessed over the past year was possible only because the robust ROK-U.S. alliance have been supporting the diplomatic efforts to achieve complete denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean peninsula in the military domain.

As it stands, the two Koreas are faithfully implementing the Agreement on the Implementation of the Historic Panmunjom Declaration in the Military Domain also known as the CMA. The CMA strives to lay the groundwork upon which denuclearization and peace may be established on the Korean Peninsula by embodying the Armistice Agreement of 1953 through inter-Korean confidence building measures and prevention of accidental conflicts. As per the CMA, the two Koreas ceased all hostile acts in land, sea, and air as of November 1st, 2018.

The two Koreas executed the pilot withdrawals of 11 GPs each in the DMZ and completed mutual verifications. Furthermore, the demilitarization of the Panmunjom Joint Security Area was completed with the removal of firearms and installations of joint patrol posts. Furthermore, mines were removed and an inter-Korean road was laid last year for the Joint Remains Recovery in the Demilitarized Zone. As of now, pilot remains recovery operations are taking place on the southern side of the Arrowhead heights as preparatory measures for the Joint Remains Recovery that will follow.

I have conviction that the aforementioned measures will substantively contribute to the alleviation of military tension and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Admittedly, North Korea did fire short range missiles in two separate occasions of late.

However, the North Korean position of staying faithful to the CMA and maintaining the denuclearization conversation momentum remains changed.

Of course, achieving denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula will be by no means an easy task. To say that progress and success will depend on an unwavering and steadfast ROK-U.S. Alliance is an understatement.The ROK-U.S. Alliance will continue in the future, as it has done so devoutly until now, to serve as a linchpin in preserving and establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula through its complete denuclearization.

The coordination between the ROK-U.S. authorities is more robust now than ever. Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeongdoo and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan repeatedly reaffirmed the common goal of supporting the diplomatic effort to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula while maintaining a steadfast combined defense posture through their frequent phone calls as well as their two Ministerial Meetings in April and in June.

Etched at the bedrock of the ROK-U.S. alliance are the exemplary efforts displayed by the winners of the Korea America Friendship Society Award and all other service members of our great two nations in all their expertise and station alike.
I would like to devote this moment to them and extend my deepest gratitude.

Finally, I would like to thank once more President Hwang Jin Ha for inviting me to this meaningful event as well as all the distinguished guests for their participation. My wishes go to the Korea America Friendship for its perpetual growth and with hopes that it continues its central role in developing the ROK-U.S. Alliance.

Commemoration Remarks for Korea American Friendship Night

Mitchell R. Moss
Minister Counselor for Public Affairs, U.S. Embassy Seoul

President Hwang,

Vice Minister Park,

General Choi,

General Williams,

Ladies and Gentlemen, 안녕하세요!

Ambassador Harris sends his regrets in not being with us tonight, and he sends his best wishes and thanks for all the great work that Korea America Friendship Society does.

And I have to ask for your indulgence because Ambassador Harris, in addition to all the very complimentary things that President Hwang said about him, he is smarter, better looking, and a lot funnier than I am. But I’ll do the best I can.

I would also like to commend the service and dedication of the military officers who received the awards tonight. In addition to serving their colleagues and communities, these awardees devoted their lives to protecting and promoting US-ROK alliance, and we are deeply grateful for your service.

Ours is an alliance that serves as the foundation for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, and as a cornerstone for security and stability in the region. 6 years ago, we concluded the US-ROK alliance ‘환갑,’ which of course was our 60th anniversary.

Forged in the crucible of war, hardened by blood spilled together in the pursuit of freedom, our alliance has stood the test of time over more than six decades. And will continue to thrive for generations to come. As long as we nourish it, invest in it and remain committed to it.

Let us not forget the other partnerships between our two countries: economic, social, academic that our military alliance made possible. Later this year, we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Korean American Educational Commission, our Fulbright Commission, which have given scholarships to over 7,000 Fulbright Scholars from Korea and the United States have created multiple generations of leaders, academics, politics and business.

This year we will also celebrate the 230th anniversary of the Department of State. Having served as a diplomat for the past 20 years, I can credibly tell you that you cannot have a stronger embassador from President Trump to the Republic of Korea than Ambassador Harry Harris.

As a loyal ally, do you want to hear a quick story? Those of you who have served for Ambassador Harris knows what it is like. But, I had the honor of accompanying him to Lake Charles for the opening of Lotte Petro Chemical Plant there, which represents 3.2 billion Dollars in Korean foreign direct investment in the United States. The weather was terrible. All the flights from Dallas to Lake Charles were canceled. I’d wound up driving the ambassador for 6 hours in the dragging rain to Lake Charles.

I’m a diplomat, we get things done. But, we don’t always think in terms of reserves. So, we had enough gas to get to Lake Charles in my estimation, but we didn’t have enough gas to get to be stuck in a massive traffic jam in a long bridge to get to Lake Charles. He sees that I’m getting nervous and asks “Mitchell, what’s going on?” I said “Sir, I’m afraid I might be known as the guy who ran out of gas with Ambassador Harris in the bridge to Lake Charles.

Many of you Know that the Ambassador started out as a P-3 pilot. He returned to me and said “We were clearly not aviators but luckily we were not in a plane.” That’s the kind of lead he is.

As a loyal ally and partner in the region, the United States support President Moon Jae In’s effort to build South Korea to even a more powerful country that can contribute to the regional peace and prosperity.

We are hopeful that we will have the opportunity to expand our partnerships together even further, to fully realize the mutually beneficial objectives outlined in the U.S. free and open Indo-Pacific Strategy and South Korea’s New Southern Policy.

Working together, we can unlock private investment and infrastructure that keeps sea lanes and airspace free, open and secure. Working together, we can safeguard the values and principles that we had fought so dearly to preserve. And working together, we can ensure that emerging technologies such as 5G are deployed to the maximum benefit of our peoples, and our critical infrastructure remain safe and secure. So, I told you that I wasn’t great as Ambassador Harris. I’d gone on too long.

Let me conclude by thanking the Korea America Friendship Society for their tireless efforts to host such a wonderful event every year. To the awardees, again congratulations and thank you for your efforts to maintain, to grow the great friendship between our two countries. Each day, thanks to your commitment and the commitment of everyone in this room, our two countries can remain focused on creating a better future.

같이 갑시다!


Commemoration Remarks for Korea American Friendship Night

Good Evening. I am CFC Deputy Commander, General Choi Byung Hyuk. First I would like to thank President Hwang, Jin Ha and members of Korea America Friendship Society for hosting magnificent event for ROK US Alliance. Also, I would like to thank distinguished guests for your valuable prepense on this beautiful night as the name of ‘friendship’.

I would like to express my gratitude to ROK US service members for carrying out their given mission all around Republic of Korea at this moment.
Especially, I would like to sincerely congratulate 4 personnels including Captain Elaine Clines for being awarded with ‘Korea America friendship award.

As you all know, Korea faces “historical grand turning point” which will shine in five thousand years of history. We have started perilous yet great journey for settling everlasting peace on Korean Peninsula.

In 2018, Both leaders of ROK and North Korea agreed on complete denuclearization and everlasting peace on Peninsula through Panmunjum Declaration and Pyongyang Joint Declaration. Leaders of United States and North Korea promised their cooperative efforts on denuclearization on Peninsula and world peace through “Singapore Summit”.

Our Military prevented armed conflict on Peninsula through CMA, conducted various activities on fulfill basic principles of Armistice Agreement. As a result, we are baring substantive fruits to de-escalate Military tensions and establish trust such as “JSA demilitarization”, “Inter Korea Joint Remains Recovery”, “DMZ Road to Peace”.

“Adversity teaches you true friend”. ROK US alliance is the most successful and strongest alliance and friend in the world today as we have overcame many hardships during past 70 years.

Therefore, we are gathered here today to remember effort of ROK US service members who tried to enhance peace on Peninsula and brotherhood of both Seoul and Washington.

I would like to thank ROK US men and women in uniform for faithfully executing their mission at Freedom’s Frontier at this very moment and to the recipients of “Korea America Friendship Award.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a round of applause to our friends, ROK US service members. (Clap!)

Thank you for your applause. On the strength of your support I promise that all CFC members will support diplomatic efforts based on robust combined defense posture and will contribute to complete denuclearization and settle permanent peace on Peninsula.

Lastly, on behalf of all CFC members, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to president Hwang and members of the society for being stout supporter of ROK US alliance for last 28 years. I wish boundless development of Korea America Friendship Society and bright future of the Alliance. I thank all of you for your valuable attendance to honor our friendship. Thank you. Wo go together!

Winners Korea America Friendship Society Award 2018

PFC Emily Lopez (U.S. ARMY)

PFC Lopez, 6-52 Air Defense Artillery Battalion Command Group Driver, led the effort to strengthen and enhance the relations between the Soldiers of 6-52 ADA BN and the citizens of Suwon and nearby areas by offering her support and dedication through the unit. PFC Lopez helped in the facilitation of a meeting between the Battalion Command Team and city council members including the Mayor of Suwon, discussing ideas on how 6-52 ADA BN can continue to assist in supporting the community of Suwon. This meeting established increased trust and laid down the groundwork for future cooperation between the unit and the local population.

PFC Lopez was a participant in the 8A KATUSA friendship week and continues to be an immense supporter of the KATUSA program by supporting similar events and to include those with Korean Airmen on the local Air Base. PFC Lopez participates in Korean-English language classes and culture exchange programs. She has been an example for her peers and leaders alike in these efforts. Her open mindedness and willingness to learn the local culture is a model for others to follow. As PFC Lopez continues in her tour, she has become a go to Soldier for those seeking to experience the local culture. PC Lopez constantly pushes for the growth of friendship programs and building comradery and cohesion between US and ROK Soldiers.

IT2 Marcus Foster (U.S. NAVY)

IT2 Marcus Foster of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea led the efforts in coordinating, tracking and maintaining oversight on a major network expansion project combining both U.S. and ROK Navy directorates. He was an outstanding ambassador as he worked closely with ROK Navy Sailors in understanding the U.S. Navy processes for managing such a convoluted project. He maintained daily communications with ROK Navy Sailors in the coordination and validation of space allocation and additional support requirements for a $12,000 project. His efforts enabled a closer working relationship providing a venue to share time critical information with the ROK Navy resulting in further strengthening the alliance and bond between the U.S. and ROK Navy’s by allowing the U.S. N5 and N9 directorates to work side-by-side with their ROK Navy counterparts. IT2 Foster’s initiative, understanding and excellent representation of the unit and the United States Navy greatly improved the relations between the U.S. and ROK Sailors on base.

Capt Elaine Clines (U.S. AIRFORCE)

Captain Elaine Clines has contributed significantly to improve relations and strengthen the alliance with our Korean partners. While riding on a local subway, she noticed a local citizen in distress while having a seizure, partnered with a coworker and provided basic life support, stabilizing the individual until care could be transferred to local EMS officials. In addition, while working with the 51FW Innovation Engine, she is partnering with a local business to award a contract to update all of the chemical equipment bags used on base. Furthermore, through her local Korean church, she directs the Cubbies program teaching English and playing games with local children ages 2-4. Finally, she has a significant and ongoing relationship with a local orphanage. She organized the squadron Christmas event, participated in the National Children’s Dental Health Month education program and volunteers on a nearly weekly basis. Altogether, Capt Clines has devoted over 50 hours to the community. These ongoing efforts have had significant impact on the local community and helped to improve community relations at Osan Air Base.

Sgt Jacob Fuller (U.S. MARINE CORPS)

Sgt Fuller is an extremely motivated and dedicated Marine. During his time at Camp Mujuk, Sgt Fuller has taken on the responsibilities of Training Chief due to a gap in personnel, this billet is typically held by a Staff Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCO). Without hesitation Sgt Fuller took on all duties associated with that billet to include but not limited to; maintaining training records for over a dozen areas, monitoring over thirty-five fitness tests, and scheduling unit training.

Sgt Fuller is the only Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Defense Marine for the entire installation. He has improved the program greatly in regards to the equipment, training, and overall readiness of the unit in a CBRN environment. His actions have greatly improved the operational sections ability to meet the units training requirements.

Sgt Fuller has volunteered for and is currently serving as the President of the Single Marine Program (SMP) for Camp Mujuk. During his tenure as the president of the council he has helped schedule five separate SMP events. Sgt Fuller has also committed his personal time volunteering every Monday and Sunday evening conducting English class for the Nambu Fire Station and Bethlehem Church, which comes out to a total of thirty-six English lessons between the two classes. He has also volunteered for several other community relation events, such as the Halloween trick or treat event at Ocheon High School, Children’s Day with Pohang City’s Dream Start and a Marine Experience Day Camp. His direct involvement has helped to greatly improve community relations between the Pohang population and the Marines of Camp Mujuk. Although Sgt Fuller has only been at Camp Mujuk for eight months he has already proved to be an invaluable asset to Camp Mujuk.

Commemoration Remarks for 2018 Korea America Year End Friendship Night

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
This is Han Chul Soo, President of Korea America Friendship Society. Before beginning my welcoming remarks for tonight’s event, I would like to express my deepest condolences and pray for the repose of the late George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, passed away on November 30, 2018.

Ambassador Harry Harris,
General Robert B. Abrams, Commander of ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command, and Mrs. Abrams, Distinguished guests from U.S. Embassy to Korea and ROK-US Combined Forces Command staffs, Our active event sponsors and members of Korea America Friendship Society, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Tonight we have a very special event for Korea America friendship night to be in honor of Harry Harris nominated as U.S. Ambassador to Republic of Korea on June 28 and to welcome General Robert Abrams assigned as Commander of UNC/CFC/USFK on November 8 of this year.

Ladies and gentlemen,
The situation surrounding Korean Peninsula has been shaking sharply and unprecedentedly fluid by two inter-Korean summits and US-North Korea summit in Singapore etc.

I am very glad and have a deep confidence on Ambassador Harris and General Abrams who know North Korea’s strategy to South Korea and the importance of ROK-US alliance well and can prepare for the possible change of situation with ability, experience and knowledge in this serious time, and our people have good hopes for their great roles for our country.

First of all, I would like to introduce Ambassador Harris an outstanding maritime strategist.

After graduating from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1978, Ambassador Harris served as major commanders and staffs in various units including the U.S. 6th Fleet. He was the first Asian-American to hold four-star rank in the U.S. Navy and commanded USINDOPACOM, which covers two thirds of the oceans surface, for 3 years from May 2015 to May 2018. His father, attending the Korean war, also has a special relationship with Korea.

Ladies and gentlemen, expressing our wishes for his successful service at the helm, please give a warm round of applause to Ambassador Harry Harris.

Next I would like to introduce General Robert Abrams, Commander of UNC/CFC/USFK.
General Abrams graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1982. He has risen from a noble U.S. service family which his father served as the U.S Army Chief of Staff, his two elder brothers retired as army brigadier general and army four star general respectively.

He engaged in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and commanded troops in Southern Afghanistan as the commander of 3rd Infantry division. Before he was assigned as ROK-US Combined Forces Command on November 8, he commanded the U.S. Army Forces Command, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from Aug 2015 until October 2018, which is the largest unit and has the greatest strength in the U.S. army.

Please give a warm round of applause to welcome General Abrams and his lovely wife.

Ladies and gentlemen,
ROK-US alliance is a very special relationship. It is a bloodforged bond as tie that the two nations had fought shoulder to shoulder to keep liberal democracy in the Korean war caused by North Korea’s invasion in 1950 and developed and consolidated tie that had fought together in the wars of Asia and Middle east.

Especially, as many as 36,574 U.S. soldiers were killed in action 68 years ago in Korean war to protect Republic of Korea and its people they never knew and they never met.

Our people will never forget their noble sacrifice and help. They will remain forever as our heroes.

Ladies and gentlemen,
The ROK-US Combined Forces Command, marking the 40th anniversary of its activation on November 7 this year, is the axis of ROK-US alliance. It is a unique exemplary system around the world, composed of ROK-US combined system not only its headquarters but also its divisions and its subordinate units, sharing OPLAN and military doctrine, and the mutual confidence and cohesion between ROK-US soldiers is high through working and training together, so has the efficient interoperability of intelligence and operation.

And as the wartime OPCON is ideal system, making ROK-US OPLAN in the peace time to execute combined exercises and trainings based on it and by conducting RSOI operation efficiently to the U.S. high tech strengths and hunderds of thousands military personnels(army, navy, airforce and marine) which will be agumented in the wartime, it should neither be weakened nor changed until the favorable condition is made, such as creating a complete denuclearization in the Korean peninsula by removing North Korea’s nuclear threat, but we must continue to strengthen the alliance.

Ladies and gentlemen,
the 919 military agreement between South and North adopted in Pyeongyang inter-Korean summit in the past September 19, includes the contents that may possibly weaken the capabilities of our military surveillance, reconnaissance and early warning and nullify the NLL in the West sea.

Especially, as Seoul and metropolitan area, which is the heart of Republic of Korea’s politic and economy with the population of about 25millions people(half of Korea’s population)is located just 60kms far from Military Demarcation Line and has a narrow depth of defense, it is very vulnerable by North Korea’s surprise attack in the beginning of war.

And if North Korea launch a surprise attack to the Han River Estuary and Gimpo peninsula which will be fully opened to North Korea by the military agreement, there is a strong chance that all our people will be in put in chaos, it is the concern of many military experts and Korean citizens and they believe that the agreement should be drastically modified or nullified.

Our efforts for the peace and mutual survival of Korean peninsula should be based upon the premise of keeping the identity of Republic of Korea and solidated national security, so the South Korea’s security capability and the combined capability with the Unites States of our ally nation should never be weakened.

And we had undergone trial and errors many times in the process of various negotiations to remove the North Korean nuclear threat for a long time, including the Six-party Talks. We should make full denuclearization on Korean peninsula successful certainly in this time by analyzing the failed reasons of the negotiations thoroughly.

As General Abrams emphasized at his change of command ceremony, we have to continuously reinforce the ROK-US combined strength and prepare for the readiness posture all the time, with the spirit of “Fight tonight”, meaning we have to be ready to fight at any time,

In conclusion, I would like to say thanks once again for attending tonight’s event, despite your busy schedules at year end. And I hope that tonight’s event may contribute to promoting greater friendship between our two countries. I sincerely thank all the sponsors who have helped support this event. Especially, I would like to thank the members of the Year-End Friendship Night Preparation staffs.

As Christmas is coming, I wish our American friends who celebrate Christmas in Korea far away from their country a merry Christmas and happy new year. Thank you.

Together we go! (Kachi-kapshida)!