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(LEAD) On Korean War anniversary, S. Korea vows stern response to N. Korean provocations

Politics 16:03 June 25, 2022

(ATTN: RECASTS slug, lead; UPDATES with Yoon's remarks in paras 1-4; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, June 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korean leaders vowed Saturday to reinforce the nation's defense posture against North Korea as the nation observed the 72nd anniversary of the outbreak of the 1950-53 Korean War.

In a Facebook post, President Yoon Suk-yeol pledged to put in all efforts to defend freedom and peace through strength.

"Peace is not something that can be achieved by submission. It can only be kept by force," Yoon said.

Visitors look at a sculpture at the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul on June 25, 2022, the 72nd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. (Yonhap)

Yoon expressed his respects to South Korean veterans and foreign veterans who fought under the U.N. flag, saying that the "freedom, peace and prosperity that the South enjoys today were built on the foundation of their sacrifice and dedication."

He also pledged to build a robust defense posture based on the country's firm alliance with the U.S. and advanced technologies.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo vowed a stern response to North Korean provocations during his speech at a ceremony marking the anniversary.

He said the North's recent missile launches and nuclear preparations have escalated tensions beyond the Korean Peninsula and are posing a threat to international peace.

President Yoon Suk-yeol delivers remarks at a luncheon with veterans of the 1950-53 Korean War at Hotel Shilla in Seoul on June 24, 2022. (Yonhap)

"The government will strengthen its defensive posture based on the firm alliance between South Korea and the U.S., and respond swiftly and sternly using all means necessary," he said.

"The government will never forget peace can be achieved on the basis of strong defense and security," Han said.

South Korea will also seek diplomatic efforts to gain cooperation from the international community to achieve peace on the peninsula, and to provide humanitarian assistance to the North, he added.

Han expressed gratitude to the veterans of the Korean War and pledged to protect the Korean Peninsula in its path toward peace and prosperity just like the veterans fought for the freedom of the country.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo delivers a speech during a ceremony to mark the 72nd anniversary of the outbreak of the 1950-53 Korean War in Seoul on June 25, 2022. (Yonhap)
An honor guard hoists the flags of the nations that fought for South Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War during a ceremony in Seoul on June 25, 2022, to mark the 72nd anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict. (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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