Commemoration Remarks for Korea America Friendship Night

GEN Vincent K. Brooks Commander, UNC/CFC/USFK

President Han, Chul Soo, I always refer to him as General Han, Chul Soo because that’s an honorable title as well. First thank you for hosting this event tonight, and also for your strong remarks as you hopefully advance the season.

Thank you vice Minister Lim Sungnam also for his remarks and for his great support for the ROK-US alliance. He is an extraordinary diplomat, and a great friend of the United States, and part of a great string in the ROK-US alliance.

Chairman Sohn, Kyung Shik as well. I was commenting to the chairman before we came in that nearly every event I go to that has to do with ROK-US alliance, I will find Chairman Sohn, Kyung Shik present because he is a part of virtually every relationship we have. Chairman, thank you for your remarks and your great, strong support also.

Great Chargé d’Affaires Marc Knapper, who I work very closely on a daily basis, as we try to communicate the interest and the desires of the United States, and bringing together the interests and desires of Republic of Korea. He is doing a brilliant work in an absence of an ambassador Charge Knapper thank you for your presence and your support.

And of course, representing the ROK-US alliance this is myself and the leadership here is my 부사령관 General Leem, Ho Young, who’s my friend as well as my deputy and my partner and keeping the closeness of the ROK-US alliance tight, strong, and always ready. 부사령관 we’ll hear from you in a minute, but I want to thank you for your presence as well.

Ladies and gentleman, 여러분 안녕하십니까. Good evening to you all. What a glad it is to stand before you as the commander of the combined forces of the Republic of Korea and the United States, and to be on the stage with such excellent young men and women who are indeed the face of the ROK-US alliance.

It’s good to, Carol and I, be here, to be with you, and that to know that among friends, and this is more than just a title, this is in fact the behavior, the approach, the spirit that guides everyone in this room, and you too are the face of the ROK-US alliance, the friendship.

And I also want to thank the Korea America Friendship Society that’s hosting this evening’s event, and where I could just thank you for the visible things that you do on the day to day basis like the concert you held in May, the lovely bulletins that you put out to keep people connected, the friendship dinners that you sponsor, the recognitions that you give to our service members, including the recognitions tonight, even your hosting on event in New Jersey in the United States last year in June, all these things will still not be enough to express our gratitude for what it is you do.

What you do so well in addition to those physical things is a work behind the scenes and between the lines, to create the tightest possible connection between our two countries and our two peoples, and that is a remarkable work we salute you for.

Simply, just like yesterday, we sat down together for a Korea America Friendship Society Dinner, but in fact it was December 2016 when we last gather together, and it is interesting how much has changed since that time. In both of our democracies we witnessed a peaceful transition of power through turbulent times, through difficulty, but nevertheless, the success. This is part of what has changed, the administrations. We do hold our high hopes that the meeting between President Moon Jae-in and President Trump will yield a stronger ROK-US alliance. We do hope so about that.

While we’ve seen a number of changes in our two countries in the last seven months, there’s some things that have not changed. The threat of military of North Korea remains. Kim Jong-un continues his oppression and reckless pursuits, enslaving the North Korean people for his own power, and for his personal gain. That has not changed.

What also has not changed since we last met is our unwavering, iron-clad ROK-US alliance that was ready then, and it remains ready now. And this is our commitment to keep it that way well into the future. It is the spirit of the ROK-US alliance and our friendship that animates us to be ready to fight tonight.

We will not waver in our resolve and we will only continue to build upon our relationship between our two countries as we go for. All we have to do is look at this picture against the wall over there and be reminded of the face of the ROK-US alliance.

First you see the flags for which they fight, we see them side by side shoulder to shoulder as they have always been through our history together, and you see them ready to fight tonight with seriousness in their eyes that you give Kim Jong-un great pause.

So, to our soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines, and civilians who are doing above and beyond the call of duty work on behalf of the ROK-US alliance to create a deeper friendship, and on behalf of the warriors who are out there not represented tonight, and persons who are certainly represented in spirit, I wish everyone a wonderful evening. And I again say thank you and congratulations to those individuals who highlighted and to the Korea America Friendship society.

감사합니다. 같이 갑시다!

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