Sharp to North Korea: Halt Provocations, Nuclear Program

SEOUL, South Korea, Sept. 15, 2010 — The top U.S. and U.N. com­man­der here marked the 60th anniver­sary of a major Kore­an War amphibi­ous oper­a­tion by call­ing on North Korea to aban­don its nuclear pro­gram and halt provo­ca­tions against South Korea.

60th anniversary of the Inchon Landing
Army Gen. Wal­ter L. “Skip” Sharp, com­man­der of Unit­ed Nations Com­mand, Com­bined Forces Com­mand and U.S. Forces Korea, vowed dur­ing Sept. 15, 2010, cer­e­monies mark­ing the 60th anniver­sary of the Inchon Land­ing to hon­or the sac­ri­fices of those who freed South Korea by remain­ing pre­pared to deter future provo­ca­tions and aggres­sion.
DoD pho­to by Don­na Miles
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Army Gen. Wal­ter L. “Skip” Sharp paid trib­ute to South Kore­an, U.S. and U.N. forces for their role 60 years ago today in the famed Inchon Land­ing, and pledged to ensure their sac­ri­fices endure. 

“We hon­or the past sac­ri­fices of our fall­en heroes and vet­er­ans by remem­ber­ing and remain­ing pre­pared to deter future provo­ca­tions and aggres­sions,” Sharp told about 2,500 Kore­an War vet­er­ans, gov­ern­ment offi­cials and local res­i­dents gath­ered along the Inchon shoreline. 

Sharp not­ed North Korea’s sink­ing of the South Kore­an navy frigate Cheo­nan in March that left 46 sailors dead. 

“As the recent North Kore­an attack on the Cheo­nan reminds us, we must always remain strong and vig­i­lant to ensure that what you brave men and women and those who made the ulti­mate sac­ri­fice fought for will be pro­tect­ed for the future gen­er­a­tions,” he told the audience. 

Ear­li­er today, Sharp joined South Kore­an and U.N. mil­i­tary and polit­i­cal lead­ers in cast­ing flo­ral wreaths hon­or­ing those sac­ri­fices from the bow of the South Kore­an amphibi­ous land­ing ship Dokdo. 

Sharp pledged that Unit­ed Nations Com­mand, Com­bined Forces Com­mand and the South Korean‑U.S. alliance will “redou­ble our efforts to be pre­pared to deter and to defeat any type of provo­ca­tion from North Korea.” 

Sharp paid trib­ute to the Kore­an War vet­er­ans who repelled the North Kore­an attack 60 years ago, paving the way for South Korea to become a democ­ra­cy and “one of the great eco­nom­ic suc­cess­es of our time.” 

“Fight­ing shoul­der to shoul­der, Marines, sailors, sol­diers and air­men from the Repub­lic of Korea and the Unit­ed Nations send­ing states stopped the North Kore­an attack and turned them back,” he said at a din­ner the South Kore­an gov­ern­ment host­ed last night to hon­or vet­er­ans attend­ing 60th anniver­sary commemorations. 

“Tonight we com­mem­o­rate one of the bold­est oper­a­tions con­duct­ed in U.S. mil­i­tary his­to­ry: the Inchon Land­ing,” he said. “This his­to­ry-mak­ing oper­a­tion not only helped to turn the tide of the war, but it high­light­ed the kind of coop­er­a­tion between our ser­vices and between the nations that con­tin­ue to help keep the Repub­lic of Korea free today. 

“We are all hon­ored to be in your pres­ence here tonight,” he con­tin­ued. “The real guests of hon­or tonight are those of you from the many nations who have returned to this land that you fought for 60 years ago. The sac­ri­fices that you and your fall­en com­rades made are the real rea­son the peo­ple of the Repub­lic of Korea enjoy the free­dom that we all share today.” 

Sharp also praised the “strong, ded­i­cat­ed, pro­fes­sion­al” South Kore­an mil­i­tary, and said he’s con­fi­dent the South Korean‑U.S. alliance “is pre­pared to defeat any future provocation.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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