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Public Papers - 1992

Text of Remarks at Camp Casey in Yongsan, South Korea


I understand you've come to Yongsan from far and wide. It's a great privilege to meet with all of you today. Let me salute the proud men and women of the 2d Infantry Division. You are truly ``second to none.''

You serve at a time when Korea is reaching new world status, when we can build on the progress and the promise of a new year. More than a military alliance, our countries are moving toward a political, economic, and security partnership.

We stand here just a few miles from the DMZ, a relic of the cold war, tragically separating one people. History's verdict is in: On freedom's side stands one of the fastest developing countries in history. On the other side, a failed regime that produces only misery and want.

For more than 40 years, the United States commitment to the Republic of Korea's security has been firm and unwavering. Nothing will change that. Korea is where America made a clear commitment to liberty. Korea is where we first stopped the spread of communism in Asia and fought to defend the international ideal of freedom.

In recognition of this republic's great achievements, we will gradually shift to a supporting role as the Korean military takes the lead in defense of their nation. But North Korea must know that we will resist any aggression and will keep our forces strong enough to do so for as long as the Korean people want our support.

Here at Camp Casey, you're a long way from home, and that's especially tough during the holiday season. With much of the world's attention on events in Eastern Europe, Moscow, and the Middle East, you may sometimes feel forgotten, just like Korean war veterans sometimes feel forgotten. So, I want you to hear this from the top. You have not been forgotten. The veterans of Korea won a mighty victory in the fight against communism. You honor them with your presence here on the frontier of freedom. America never forgets those who serve. For the sake of the families of the 8,000 MIA's of the Korean war we will continue to seek the fullest possible accounting from North Korea.

You've got a tough assignment here. Our able Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, served here himself and was back for a visit in November. He agrees with me: Your professionalism, your courage, and your vigilance are the keys to our success here.

I will not forget this day. I am inspired and invigorated just looking at you. The time is coming when the Korean people will be united and free. Each one of you should be proud of your contribution to that inevitable triumph.

Note: The text of this address was issued by the Office of the Press Secretary on January 6.

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