최근논문

Acceptance Remarks of Korean-American Friendship Award 


 November 2, 2006 


I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Korean American Association for honoring me to be up here this evening to receive the 2006 Korea-American Friendship Award. I accept the award with a deep sense of humility. I accept your encouragement that goes with it urging me to work harder to promote friendship and cooperation between our two great nations. And I accept this award as a reminder that I owed so much to so many American friends who were so kind and generous enough to help me carry out my official duty as an economic hands in my government during the late 60s and throughout 70s and as a leader in the following years in various private organizations dedicated to the promotion of economic cooperation between the two countries. I wish to convey my heart felt thanks again to all of them.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep respect to the members of the Korean-American Association. In particular, 

I salute those American members of this Association who or whose family members came to this land and fought or dedicated their lives at the time of Korean War to protect life and freedom of Korean people from the communist aggression,

I salute those American and Korean members who or whose family members fought together or sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom during the Vietnam War,

I salute to those members who have sent their family members to Iraq War who are currently fighting hard in that desert area to promote freedom and liberty of people in that part of the world, and

I salute to those members from business community of both countries who’s presence here this evening signifies the close economic cooperation between the two countries, contributing to economic welfare of the people in their respective countries. 

However, the struggle of our two nations to preserve freedom and promote better life in the global village is yet to be completed. Currently, the two nations are making an agonizing effort to make North Korean regime to do away with nuclear ploy and join the international community as a responsible member. The state of affairs in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon are calling for continued effort of the Unites States and supporting role of the Republic of Korea to help the peoples in those countries rebuild their nations on the basis of free and democratic system.  

Currently, we have a grave concern over the North Korea’s nuclear test conducted on October 9 despite repeated warnings from the UN. At the same time, we hear that there are some difference of opinion between Seoul and Washington regarding the future shape of the security alliance between our two nations including the transfer of wartime operational command from American to Korean troops. Currently, hot debates are going on in this country as to the wisdom of the premature transfer of wartime command from American to Korean troops, which may give a wrong signal to the North that the allied determination to repel any armed challenge has been weakened. We are sincerely hoping that the issue be settled in such a way that the objective of the alliance is in no way compromised.      

In this connection, both American and Korean members of this association may be concerned about some anti-American activities here in Korea. Such activities , in my view, are totally misguided and  I personally take the patience with them as a price paying for democratization. Democracy means pluralism and in a pluralist society any things can happen including anti-Americanism, particularly when it is rooted in the communist ideology of the North as well as the rising tide of nationalism through out Asia today. Fortunately, however, the free society has a self-correcting mechanism. Today more and more young people protest the dissident elements, arguing that the Anti-America is wrong because Korea’s security and economic interest is not separable from that of the United States. After all, the majority of Korean people remain pro-American and they believe Korean society can withstand the current anti-American episode and sustain the traditional amicable relationship with the United Sates.

So let me say in closing that it is incumbent for all of us to work together to overcome the test of time and further consolidate the traditional ties between the two nations to the best interest of both countries and that of the free world at large.

Thank you.  

한미협회주최  제5회 한미우호상 수상