Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to first extend my most sincere welcome and thanks to all the distinguished guests attending tonight’s event, including Ambassador Harry Harris, the U.S. Ambassador to the ROK, and General Robert Abrams, the Commander of the R.O.K.-U.S. Combined Forces Command.
I would also like to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to all US soldiers stationed in Korea and their families, for protecting our country and keeping the peace in Northeast Asia, and I would like to use this opportunity to again welcome General Abrams who has recently moved to Korea. Lastly, I would like to thank President HAN, Chul-Soo and all the members of the Korea America Friendship Society for organizing this wonderful event tonight.
2018 was the year when North and South Korea really begin to engage in serious talks. President MOON, Jae-In has already met with the North Korean leader, KIM, Jong-Un, and President Donald Trump has also had talks with KIM, Jong-Un at the Singapore Summit in June. While these events have led to growing expectations for peace, it will not be easy to bring an end to the tension in the Korean Peninsula, as it is all premised on North Korea giving up nuclear weapons.
The Korean people all yearn for peace between North and South Korea, but we are also dedicated to and actively participate in the cause of denuclearization and nonproliferation as demanded by the international community.
The Korean people are currently facing a lot of major changes ahead. While we do not know where these changes will lead us to, we are fully behind the Korea-US alliance and firmly believe that this alliance is the driving force behind peace in the Korean Peninsula. We still have the utmost trust and faith in the US, and will continue to do so for a very long time.
Ladies and gentleman,
We wish for the friendly and mutually cooperative relationship between the two countries to continue growing, going beyond just a military alliance and expanding into the fields of economics, diplomacy and foreign policy, and culture. The Korean people are very grateful to the US and the US Armed Forces for protecting our country during the Korean War, and we have not forgotten about all the support and aid provided by the US thereafter. Many of our young men and women have studied or are currently studying in the US as well. The US is our most important economic partner, and more importantly, our trusted friend and ally.
Ladies and gentlemen,
2018 is coming to an end soon. I wish you all the best to close out the year strong and have an even better new year filled with more happiness and joy.
Thank you very much.