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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > What the Secretary Has Been Saying > 2005 Secretary Rice's Remarks > March 2005: Secretary Rice's Remarks

Remarks to Troops at Command Post Tango

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Command Post Tango Operations Center
Republic of Korea
March 19, 2005

SECRETARY RICE: Well, thank you very much. First of all, thank you General LaPorte for having me here. Thank you for everything that you do every day. Youíve done a marvelous job in commanding these men and women of both the U.S. Forces Korea and of the Republic of Korea. Thank you very, very much for your work.

Secretary Rice shakes hands with U.S. soldier as other U.S. and South Korean soldiers look on. Seongnam, South Korea, March 19, 2005. AP/Wide World Photo.

General Kim, thank you for your hospitality here. Itís great to be back in the Republic of Korea. I was here not too long ago with the President. Iíve been to Korea a number of times. Thank you for all you that you do for U.S.-Korean friendship. Thank you.

And Iím glad to meet someone who is newer at his job than I am at mine: Admiral Fallon, itís nice to be with you.

And Ambassador Hill, who, you may know, is soon going to join me back in Washington. The Senate just confirmed him as Assistant Secretary for East Asian Affairs at the State Department.

(Applause.)

I wanted to come here early in my tenure as Secretary of State to thank you for what you do everyday here on the frontlines of freedom. In parts of the world, the Cold War has ended and weíve been able to be on a continent like Europe that is now whole and free.

But of course, divisions remain here in Korea and because of the strong and constant alliance and friendship between the Republic of Korea and the United States we are able to help to keep this peninsula, and also this region, more secure.

I know that you face a close-in threat everyday and I know that you face also the fact that the Republic of Korea, a great democracy now, faces the threat across the divide of a state that is not democratic, that is not free, and that does not have the best interests of its people at heart.

But, if ever there was an example of what democracy can do, and what democracy, when people are deprived of it, can do, it is to look at the Republic of Korea and to look at the Democratic [Peopleís] Republic of Korea.

The President has made the spread of liberty and freedom a centerpiece of American foreign policy. And I know that in addition to being here on the frontlines of freedom, that you are also doing your part in other parts of the world to spread freedom. I want to thank in particular the forces of the Republic of Korea for their service in Iraq and Afghanistan, where people are seeking freedom. I know that there are people who served with you here from U.S. Forces Korea who were transferred to Iraq, to great danger, and I know that people were lost in that struggle.

But we know that nothing of value is ever earned without sacrifice, and I want to thank you for the sacrifices that you make here everyday. I want to call to our attention the memories of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice both here and throughout the world, and to say that the forward march of freedom continues because of the strength of people, the men and women of U.S. Forces Korea and the Republic of Korea.

The strong and changing alliance which was born out of the Korean War is now one of the bulwarks of freedom here in East Asia, and I want to thank you for what you do everyday, for what you have done, and what you are yet to do.

Thank you.

2005/T4-19


Released on March 19, 2005

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