ROK-U.S. News

2021 KDVA Annual Report

Thanks to our members, donors, partners, and supporters in 2021, the Korea Defense Veterans Association saw a historic rise in membership and reach to support the ROK-U.S. Alliance and our Veterans. We are a relatively new organization, and this is only the beginning of our anticipated growth. Our membership – having increased by 48% in 2021 – is made up of Americans and Koreans who helped build for the ROK-U.S. Alliance a strong foundation for security and democracy in Northeast Asia. They are passionate about maintaining this unique Alliance to continue defending South Korea and partnering for common interests. In so many ways, the generations of Korea Defense Veterans embody the energy and hope of achieving a better future for all Koreans and Americans.

우리 주한미군전우회(KDVA) 회원들과 기부자들, 파트너들, 그리고 후원자들 덕분에 주한미군전우회(KDVA)는2021년동안 전무후무한 회원가입 수 증가와 한미동맹 및 참전용사들을 지원하는 목표 달성을 이루어냈습니다.그러나 아직 우리는 비교적 신생 기관이며 이러한 업적은 단지 우리가 예상했던 성장의 시작에 불과하다고 봅니다. 2021년에 48% 증가를 달성했던 회원가입을 살펴보았을 때, 그 구성은 KDVA가 동북아시아의 안보와 민주주의를 위한 강력한 기반이 될 수 있도록 도와준 한국인들과 미국인들로 이루어져 있었습니다. 우리의 회원들은 한미 양국의 상호 국익을 위해 파트너가 되어주고 대한민국을 지속적으로 방위하는 유일무이한 한미동맹을 열정적으로 지지합니다. 대한민국을 방위했던 양국의 참전용사 세대들은 여러 방면에서 모든 미국인과 한국인들을 위한 더 나은 미래를 이룩하는 희망과 에너지를 나타냅니다.

By reading this report, you are helping KDVA and our cause, and we can use even more support… so thank you very much and we welcome opportunities to work “Together for the Alliance”!

이 보고서를 읽음으로써 여러분들은 KDVA와 우리의 대의명분에 조력하는 것이며우리는 더 많은 지원을 얻을 수 있을 것입니다. 감사합니다. 우리는 “위대한 한미동맹”을 위한 과업이라면 기꺼이 받아들일 준비가 되어있습니다!

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Yonhap – Top military officers of S. Korea, U.S., Japan to meet in Hawaii this week

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Yonhap) — The top military officers of South Korea, Japan and the United States will meet this week in Hawaii for talks, an informed source here said Monday, following a series of North Korean missile launches that included its first ICBM test in over four years.

Gen. Won In-choul, chairman of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), will meet his U.S. and Japanese counterparts — Gen. Mark Milley and Gen. Koji Yamazaki — on Wednesday, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The planned meeting comes after North Korea fired an ICBM on Thursday (Seoul time), ending its self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile testing that it had maintained since late 2017.

Last week’s missile launch also marked North Korea’s 12th missile test this year, including seven rounds of missile launches in January alone that marked the largest number of missile launches by the North in a single month.

The JCS chiefs of the three countries last met in April 2021 when they visited Hawaii to attend the change-of-command ceremony for Adm. John Aquilino, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

The file photo shows Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Won In-choul (2nd from R) posing for a photo with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Gen. Mark Milley (C) and Gen. Koji Yamazaki (2nd from L), along with outgoing U.S. Indo-Pacific Command commander Adm. Philip Davidson (far R) and his successor Adm. John Aquilino (far L) in Hawaii on April 29, 2021, in this photo provided by the military. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The file photo shows Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Won In-choul (2nd from R) posing for a photo with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Gen. Mark Milley (C) and Gen. Koji Yamazaki (2nd from L), along with outgoing U.S. Indo-Pacific Command commander Adm. Philip Davidson (far R) and his successor Adm. John Aquilino (far L) in Hawaii on April 29, 2021, in this photo provided by the military. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

bdk@yna.co.kr
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Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220329000200325?section=national/defense

News articles do not necessarily reflect the views of KDVA. Any copyrighted materials depicted on this web site are presented for educational purposes only and no claim of ownership is made by KDVA.

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Yonhap – N. Korea seems to have fired Hwasong-15 ICBM last week, S. Korea’s military tells lawmakers

SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) — North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched last week is assessed to be the same type it test-fired in 2017, Seoul’s defense ministry told lawmakers here Tuesday, formally dismissing Pyongyang’s claim that it was a brand-new one.

In a briefing to the National Assembly, the ministry said the ICBM in question is more similar to the Hwasong-15 missile than the newest Hwasong-17. It cited an analysis of the missile’s flight characteristics and footage released by the North’s state media.

The North has claimed success in launching the Hwasong-17 — an ICBM dubbed a “monster” for its size. The new missile is known to have a range of around 15,000 kilometers, about 2,000 km longer than the Hwasong-15.

“Although the projectile fired on March 24 looks like the Hwasong-17 due to the increase in its top altitude and flight time, our assessment is that it is more similar to the Hwasong-15 than the Hwasong-17,” the ministry said.

The ministry provided evidence suggesting the North disguised the latest launch as that of the newest missile.

It said that directions of shadows seen in the North’s footage of Thursday’s launch indicated the footage was taken in the morning though the actual launch took place in the afternoon.

The ministry also pointed out that the North’s photos showed the missile test was conducted under clear weather though it was mostly cloudy at the launch site in Pyongyang at the time of the test.

A Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is launched from Pyongyang International Airport on March 24, 2022, in this photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency. The North's leader Kim Jong-un approved the launch, and the missile traveled up to a maximum altitude of 6,248.5 kilometers and flew a distance of 1,090 km before falling into the East Sea, the KCNA said. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

A Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is launched from Pyongyang International Airport on March 24, 2022, in this photo released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency. The North’s leader Kim Jong-un approved the launch, and the missile traveled up to a maximum altitude of 6,248.5 kilometers and flew a distance of 1,090 km before falling into the East Sea, the KCNA said. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

In addition, the ministry said that it would have been difficult to carry out a successful new ICBM test following a botched test eight days earlier. The South Korean military presumes the North’s failed projectile launch on March 16 involved the Hwasong-17.

Commenting on the North’s intentions behind the launch, the ministry said that the North needed to deliver a “message of success” after citizens in Pyongyang witnessed an earlier failure in firing the Hwasong-17.

The North also appears to have sought to show progress in its ICBM capabilities, secure status as a military power and raise its leverage in future peace negotiations, the ministry said.

The Hwasong-17 was fired from Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang and exploded in midair over the capital.

An opposition lawmaker who attended the session said debris of the missile fell in Pyongyang and caused civilian damages.

“(The missile) exploded several kilometers above Pyongyang, so it was visible to the naked eye, and debris fell like rain over Pyongyang. Human casualties have not been confirmed, but civilian damage occurred,” Ha Tae-keung of the main opposition People Power Party told reporters citing the ministry.

The firing of the Hwasong-15 was aimed at assuaging public discontent following the incident, he added.

Meanwhile, the ministry reportedly told a closed-door parliamentary session that Seoul is considering “strong” steps to take in the event of another North Korean ICBM launch, including the deployment of U.S. strategic military assets.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
(END)

News articles do not necessarily reflect the views of KDVA. Any copyrighted materials depicted on this web site are presented for educational purposes only and no claim of ownership is made by KDVA.
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KDVA & KUSAF Joint Message Regarding North Korean Missile Launches

Download: Press Release_KDVA and KUSAF for nK ICBM Launch_K+E

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Yonhap – N. Korea confirms ‘successful’ test-firing of Hwasong-17 ICBM

By Yi Won-ju

SEOUL, March 25 (Yonhap) — North Korea said Friday that it successfully test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), called the Hwasong-17, the previous day on the direct order of its leader Kim Jong-un.

Making an on-site inspection of the test, Kim stressed his country would be “fully ready for long-standing confrontation with the U.S. imperialists,” according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Kim was quoted as adding, “The new strategic weapon of the DPRK would make the whole world clearly aware of the power of our strategic armed forces once again.” DPRK stands for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“He stressed that our national defense forces would possess formidable military and technical capabilities unperturbed by any military threat and blackmail and keep themselves fully ready for long-standing confrontation with the U.S. imperialists,” the KCNA said in its quite lengthy English-language report.

A Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is launched from Pyongyang International Airport on March 24, 2022, in this photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency. The North's leader Kim Jong-un approved the launch, and the missile traveled up to a maximum altitude of 6,248.5 kilometers and flew a distance of 1,090 km before falling into the East Sea, the KCNA said. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

A Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is launched from Pyongyang International Airport on March 24, 2022, in this photo released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency. The North’s leader Kim Jong-un approved the launch, and the missile traveled up to a maximum altitude of 6,248.5 kilometers and flew a distance of 1,090 km before falling into the East Sea, the KCNA said. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

This combined undated photo, released on March 25, 2022, by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency, shows the North’s leader Kim Jong-un handwriting a memo that approves the launch the previous day of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The missile, fired from Pyongyang International Airport, traveled up to a maximum altitude of 6,248.5 kilometers and flew a distance of 1,090 km before falling into the East Sea, the KCNA said. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Kim warned that any forces infringing upon the security of his country should be aware that it will have to pay a “dear price.”

He provided detailed guidance nearly every day to ensure that the Hwasong-17 was completed as a “reliable nuclear war deterrence means,” the KCNA said, calling the new weapon system a “fruition of self-reliance.”

The ICBM flew 1,090 kilometers for 4,052 seconds at a top altitude of 6,248 km before “accurately hitting the pre-set area” in the East Sea, the KCNA said.

South Korea’s military said Thursday that it detected the launch from the Sunan airfield in Pyongyang at 2:34 p.m. and the missile flew some 1,080 kilometers at a top altitude of over 6,200 km.

Shortly after the launch, South Korean President Moon Jae-in presided over an emergency meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) and strongly condemned the North’s test-firing.

The White House on Thursday also strongly condemned the missile launch and called on Pyongyang to “immediately cease its destabilizing actions.”

Thursday’s launch marked the North’s first ICBM launch since 2017 in a move sharply escalating tensions in the region.

It was Pyongyang’s 12th show of force this year, ending its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile testing.

In April 2018, Pyongyang declared a moratorium on nuclear and ICBM tests amid Seoul-brokered diplomacy that led to the first-ever summit between the United States and the North in Singapore in June of the same year.

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220325000952325?section=nk/nk

News articles do not necessarily reflect the views of KDVA. Any copyrighted materials depicted on this web site are presented for educational purposes only and no claim of ownership is made by KDVA.

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KDVA’s theme for 2022 is “We Are the Alliance.”  

KDVA’s theme for 2022 is “We Are the Alliance.”  Koreans and Americans who built and support the Alliance … are the Alliance.  So KDVA will devote more programs and activities to enhance the KDVA Membership Experience, through the “We Are the Alliance” Campaign which will include the following:

  • Improving membership application.
  • Improving membership portal.
  • Preparing to conduct surveys to seek your feedback.
  • Raising more awareness about Veterans.
  • Coordinating the Korea Revisit Program for Defense Veterans.
  • Opening more Local Chapters.
  • Opening virtual Common Interest Groups.
  • Telling more stories about Veterans.
  • Preparing for our first KDVA Reunion in the U.S.
  • Honoring the Alliance by sponsoring the annual “U.S.-ROK Alliance Day” on Oct. 1st.
  • Honoring KDVA Members at our annual Honors Gala.

Details will follow.

Join KDVA to add your voice and influence to our mission of enhancing the ROK-U.S. Alliance and supporting our Veterans:  https://kdva.vet/join-kdva/.

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Yonhap – S. Korea, U.S. in close consultations on combined drills: official

SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) — South Korea is consulting closely with the United States on the timing of their annual joint military exercise and other details, a Seoul official said Thursday.

The allies have usually kicked off their springtime combined training in March. This year, however, speculation has persisted that they are postponing it due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the just-ended presidential election here, in which hundreds of thousands of soldiers voted. Many expect it will be staged within the first half of this year, with the scale and format needing to be discussed

“(We) will provide (relevant) information once the timing and format are decided through close consultations between South Korea and the U.S.,” the defense ministry official told reporters on the customary condition of anonymity.

Some observers raised the possibility that the election of Yoon Suk-yeol of the conservative main opposition People Power Party will affect the matter, as he pledged to “normalize” the allies’ combined drills. He will be inaugurated on May 10.

Critics of the liberal Moon Jae-in administration’s approach toward North Korea have argued it has been lukewarm on the joint military exercise with the U.S., often scaling it down, in a bid to curry favor with the Kim Jong-un regime.

colin@yna.co.kr
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Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220310007800325?section=national/defense

News articles do not necessarily reflect the views of KDVA. Any copyrighted materials depicted on this web site are presented for educational purposes only and no claim of ownership is made by KDVA.

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Yonhap – Yoon vows closer cooperation with U.S. to deter N. Korea

SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) — South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol vowed Thursday to strengthen strategic alliance with the United States, build a strong national defense to deter North Korean provocations and pursue a future-oriented relationship with Japan, hours after winning the nation’s closely contested presidential election.

Yoon of the conservative main opposition People Power Party (PPP) was elected president earlier Thursday with the smallest-ever 0.73 percentage-point gap over liberal Democratic Party (DP) candidate Lee Jae-myung.

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol speaks in a news conference at the National Assembly on March 10, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol speaks in a news conference at the National Assembly on March 10, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

Apparently aware of the razor-thin victory, Yoon emphasized national unity and close cooperation with the DP controlling the National Assembly in a news conference held soon after his election win.

On diplomacy, Yoon said his priority policy goal is to solidify South Korea’s status as a global pivotal country to contribute to freedom, peace and prosperity, based on dignified diplomacy and strong national security.

He promised to reconstruct South Korea-U.S. alliance and strengthen comprehensive strategic relationship with Washington by sharing the core values of human rights, market economy and human rights.

Earlier, Yoon talked with U.S. President Joe Biden on the phone prior to his visit to the Seoul National Cemetery and they affirmed strong bilateral alliance and close cooperation, according to PPP officials.

Biden congratulated Yoon on his election win and invited him to visit the White House during the 20-minute conversation, they said.

Yoon emphasized the need for stronger cooperation over North Korea’s provocations, while Biden said that the U.S. is closely monitoring the situation in North Korea and that close coordination among Seoul, Washington and Tokyo is important for policies on Pyongyang, they said.

Biden was the first foreign leader to personally congratulate Yoon on his election, they added.

The White House also confirmed the two leaders’ phone conversation, saying they affirmed the strength of Seoul-Washington alliance and committed to maintain close coordination on addressing the threats posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Yoon also mentioned his phone talks with Biden in the news conference, saying the U.S. leader expressed a wish for a summit meeting soon after his inauguration to discuss further development of the bilateral relationship.

“I cannot disclose all the details of my conversation with the U.S. president here. I received his congratulations on my election win,” Yoon said.

Yoon said he is determined to build a future-oriented relationship with Japan.

“In relations between South Korea and Japan, it is important to find out what will be beneficial to both countries and to the people of both countries in the future rather than in the past,” the president-elect said.

South Korea and Japan have long been at odds over territory and other historical disputes stemming from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

On relations with China, Yoon said he will promote a bilateral relationship of mutual respect.

On North Korea, Yoon said he will “sternly” respond to any illegal or unreasonable behavior by the country “in accordance with principles,” but the window of conversation with Pyongyang will “be always left open.”

He then vowed to build a strong national defense that can reliably deter any provocations from the North in order to protect the people’s safety and property and his nation’s territory and sovereignty.

“We also face the task of strengthening our global diplomatic capabilities amid the North Korean nuclear threats and growing tensions over U.S.-China strategic competition,” Yoon said.

Yoon also made comments on domestic political situations, saying he will only trust and follow the will of the people.

“I will solely trust the people and follow their will,” he said.

“(The election results) constitute a call for reform, and the restoration of justice and common sense as well as the people’s desperate appeal to do politics of unity, not division,” Yoon said.

Yoon faces a daunting challenge of how to work with an unfriendly National Assembly controlled by the DP and heal deep national divisions laid bare in one of the most bitter political campaigns in recent memory.

Including the DP, the liberal bloc holds some 180 seats in the 300-seat Assembly. Without their help, Yoon’s presidency could end up in a “vegetative” state unable to pass key agenda items until the next parliamentary elections in 2024.

Yoon said the current National Assembly controlled by the DP may offer an opportunity for the nation’s democracy and politics to become much more mature.

He again stressed cooperation with the DP during a disbandment ceremony for the PPP’s election committee at the National Assembly in the afternoon.

Regarding the economy, the president-elect promised to turn away from a government-led economy toward a human-oriented one so as to create jobs and beef up the middle class.

“I will keep away from any forces or ideologies that threaten the free democracy and adhere to the common sense of the people in running the nation,” he noted.
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Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220310007452315?section=national/politics

News articles do not necessarily reflect the views of KDVA. Any copyrighted materials depicted on this web site are presented for educational purposes only and no claim of ownership is made by KDVA.

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Yonhap – U.S. says deployment of latest Apache helicopters to S. Korea complete

SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Yonhap) — The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) has completed the deployment of the newest Apache attack helicopters to South Korea, its aviation unit said, as the allies have stepped up joint efforts to counter Pyongyang’s evolving military threats.

In a Facebook post last Friday, the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade said that the process to deploy the latest AH-64E Version 6 helicopters to Camp Humphreys, a main USFK base in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, was completed two days earlier.

It did not specify the number of helicopters, but the U.S. Army said on its website last month that a total of 24 helicopters would be deployed to South Korea through the end of this month in the first overseas delivery of the new version of the Apache aircraft.

“This AH-64E V6 is far superior to prior generations when you take into consideration its lethality, its survivability, its performance and its maneuverability,” Lt. Col. Peter Schmitt, commander of the 4-2 Attack Helicopter Battalion under the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, was quoted as saying.

In November, the Pentagon announced the results of its global defense posture review, which included a decision to permanently station a previously rotational Apache attack helicopter unit along with artillery division headquarters in South Korea.

A U.S. Apache helicopter is parked at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, in this photo captured from the U.S. 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade's Facebook account. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

A U.S. Apache helicopter is parked at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, in this photo captured from the U.S. 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade’s Facebook account. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
(END)

News articles do not necessarily reflect the views of KDVA. Any copyrighted materials depicted on this web site are presented for educational purposes only and no claim of ownership is made by KDVA.
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KDVA ROK-U.S. Alliance Journal 2022-1

2021 1st Quarter Edition

Featuring stories and articles by KDVA members and supporters of the ROK-U.S. Alliance.

 

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