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Obama says U.S. commitment to S. Korea 'will never waver'

All News 05:46 July 26, 2016

WASHINGTON, July 25 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday the U.S. commitment to South Korea's security will never waver and the country will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Asian ally in defense of peace and prosperity.

Obama made the remark in a message issued in honor of Korean War veterans to mark the upcoming 63rd anniversary of the 1953 armistice that ended three-year fighting in the Korean War. The message came as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump increasingly questions the value of alliances.

"Rising from occupation and ruin, the Republic of Korea today shines as a thriving, modern country, whose people can take comfort in knowing that the commitment of the United States to their stability and security will never waver," Obama said in the proclamation.

"Fifty million South Koreans now live in freedom, reaching for their dreams and pursuing opportunities in a vibrant democracy and dynamic economy -- always realizing they have a partner who will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in defense of peace and prosperity. Our lasting friendship and unbreakable alliance are sustained by the beliefs we hold in common and the values we cherish," he said.

Compared with last year's proclamation, this year's appeared to put greater emphasis on the firmness of the alliance. That could be because Trump has repeatedly said he is ready to abandon U.S. security commitments to allies unless they make economic sense.

Obama noted that nearly 1.8 million Americans joined in the Korean War and faced down communism.

"We pay tribute to the American patriots who fought for freedom and democracy throughout the Korean War, leaving behind everyone they loved to secure the blessings of liberty for a country they never knew and a people they had never met," Obama said.

"For the heavy price they paid, we will forever honor the legacy of their service and uphold the ideals they secured through this hard-won victory," he said.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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