For the long period of time between 1910 and 1945, the entire Korean peninsula was occupied by the Japanese Imperialist and luckily unshackled from the fetters of the Japanese colonial rule on August 15, 1945 thanks to the U.S. atomic bombs dropped on two densely populated cities in Japan.
Strangely enough, the dim-witted people on the Korean peninsula began clashing each other being separated as pro-Communism and pro-Capitalism rather than solidifying national power right after the liberation. Such a chaotic situation continued for about five years in between the 38th parallel drawn by the two super powers after the Japanese surrender.
On August 15, 1948, a legitimate government of the Republic of Korea solely approved by the United Nations was finally established in the South amid endless sabotages and interruptions from the North.
But unfortunately, at dawn of June 25, 1950, on Sunday, the USSR backed North Korean Communist regime heavily equipped with the Soviet weapons and munitions invaded South Korea by launching a surprise attack. The surprise attack caught South Korea completely off guard as the newly born nation was not properly prepared for the surprise attack.
Therefore, an unresisting seizure of the ROK’s capital of Seoul by the enemy was possible in just three days. The NK communist regime at last forced its way down to the Nakdong river front, a perimeter area of Busan, the second largest city located 430 km away from Seoul to the far south in three months despite rapid US forces deployments to deter enemy’s continued advance.
In the meantime, by the grace of God, because of the Inchon Amphibious Operation (Chromite) commanded by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur of the United States Army, South Korea was able to recapture of her capital of Seoul on September 28, 1950.
Viewing ROK’s modern history especially on ROK-US alliance, it is an undeniable fact that the United States saved ROK twice the first in 1945 and the second in1950, which played an essential role in helping South Korea to build a remarkable prosperity we are enjoying today.
Nonetheless, though we hope not, we Koreans have become aware of that the amicable 70-year-long alliance relationship between the two countries, ROK and the United States seems to be slowly deteriorating against our will.
On this particular occasion, a flood of anxious thoughts that abruptly coursed through my mind makes me remind our fellow Koreans of a well-known saying left by a US philosopher, George Santayana “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Dear fellow citizens, let’s not fail to remember the past and bring our utmost efforts so that it cannot be repeated in our history. Thanks to you all.