Commitment Remains: U.S.-ROK Defense Cooperation
Published May 07, 2015
"The Republic of Korea today was made possible by the noble sacrifices of the Korean War veterans."
-Statement from Republic of Korea Prime Minister Chung Un-Chan and Former Prime Minister Lee Hong-Koo
The legacies of the Korean war are lasting commitment to democratic ideals and steadfast action to stop aggression. In the decades since the war, the Republic of Korea has grown into a modern, free and vibrant industrial nation. The foundation of South Korean freedom lies in the sacrifice of its people, and in the strong support of fellow democratic nations in war and peace.
American defense and political commitment to South Korea remains strong. As communist North Korea has demonstrated through the years, it still poses a threat to peace and democracy in the region. Serious incidents including murders in the Demilitarized Zone and the illegal capture of the American naval vessel USS Peublo -- plus innumerable threats of military action -- have proven that North Korean hostility is still a grave danger. Strong U.S. forces therefore remain in partnership with the Republic of Korea's defense establishment.
The United States Air Force maintains a robust presence on the Korean peninsula. The 7th Air Force's 51st and 8th Fighter Wings operate from Osan and Kunsan Air Bases, with support units at several other South Korean locations. Bolstering U.S. air power in the region, Pacific Air Forces also are present in Japan, Hawaii, Guam and Alaska. Overall, the U.S. has around 28,500 service members stationed in South Korea, including about 20,000 U.S. Army Soldiers. Naval and Marine forces that also play key roles in Pacific regional defense.
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