CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Paul Wolfowitz Delivers Remarks at Korean War Memorial
Aired July 27, 2003 - 10:36 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN ANCHOR: We want to take you live now to the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., where they are marking the 50th anniversary of the armistice which ended the Korean War.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz is making comments right now.
PAUL WOLFOWITZ, DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: ... said and done, the international boundaries were back where they had been when the communists invaded.
As a result, some have concluded erroneously that the Korean War was a stalemate. To the contrary, because we took a determined stance, because our men and women fought and sacrificed, the people of South Korea have had half a century of peace, 50 years to build a dynamic democracy in a thriving economy. That is no stalemate.
Because thousands of brave men and women from 22 nations put their lives on the line, the face Asia was changed dramatically for the better. I'm so pleased to see those countries represented here today. Thanks to our combined action in Korea, the stage was set for the eventual victory in the larger Cold War.
It took decades, but freedom triumphed throughout most of the communist world. And one day, freedom will come to the people of North Korea, as well.
Last month I paid a brief visit to South Korea. And I was in Seoul, which today is one of the most dynamic cities in the world.
I was fortunate to visit our soldiers on the demilitarized zone, where they stand watch with our allies from the Republic of Korea, ensuring the peace for nearly 50 million people.
When you visit those places, you can't help but appreciate the magnitude of what you and your comrades accomplished during the Korean War.
But as President Bush has observed, the most dramatic demonstration comes from outer space, especially at night. From thousands of miles above the earth, you can still see the lights of Seoul, a dazzling metropolis of freedom and prosperity and energy.
Just 30 miles to the north, it's completely the opposite: not light, but darkness, which is an appropriate symbol for a land that has no freedom and still little hope, a place where tyrants spend that nation's meager resources on nuclear weapons while its people starve.
Until things change in North Korea, we must guard against renewed aggression.
But meanwhile, we will work with the North Koreans to bring home our missing. We recently concluded negotiations that will result in two joint recovery operations this year. In November, we will meet with them to form plans for recovery operations in 2004. This is vital, because the Korean War will not really end for us until every American is brought home or accounted for.
We owe them that. We owe it to their families. We owe it to the brave men and women who go into combat for us today. And we will keep our promise.
The heroism that was immortalized in those names like the Chosen Reservoir, Enchon, Pusan, Bloody Ridge, MiG Ally (ph), Pork Chop Hill, those are names that will live in history, and their heroes will be remembered in history.
But I want you to know that heroism has not gone out of style. Some of you probably have sons or daughters or maybe grandchildren serving today in our armed forces. In fact, if you do have a relative or family friend serving in the military today, could I ask you to stand for a moment, please?
KOPPEL: We're listening to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz there at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., where they are marking the 50th anniversary of the armistice, which ended the fighting of the Korean War. But, of course, there is still no peace treaty.
CNN, of course, will be following that story and we'll have a wrap of the day's events later on this afternoon.
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