At the Korean War Memorial, the deputy defense secretary speaks of fights "to defeat a great evil."
WASHINGTON - Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told Korean War veterans Sunday that, as they did 50 years ago, today's American soldiers "are working to defeat a great evil" and make the world safer for freedom.
"Like those who served in Korea, our young people today know that they are working to defeat a great evil and to help a grateful people take their rightful place among the free nations of the world," Wolfowitz said at the Korean War Memorial on the National Mall. "The battle to win the peace in Iraq today is the central battlefront for the war on terror."
Speaking on the 50th anniversary of the truce that ended the three-year war, Wolfowitz praised the several thousand veterans at the ceremony for creating conditions under which South Korea could prosper in contrast to communist-led North Korea.
"From thousands of miles above the earth, you can still see the lights of Seoul, a dazzling metropolis of freedom, prosperity, and energy. Just 30 miles to the North, it's completely the opposite. Not light, but darkness," Wolfowitz said.
He promised that the United States will continue, despite current strains in relations with North Korea, working with the North to retrieve remains of soldiers still listed as missing in action. Two joint recovery operations have been agreed for this year, and negotiations are planned in November to plan recovery operations for next year.