By Kim Minji
President Moon Jae-in on Oct. 1 said the roots of the nation's military are the independence movement and patriotism at a ceremony for Armed Forces Day held at an Air Force base in Daegu.
Arriving at the event in the advanced military helicopter Surion, which was domestically designed and produced, he said, "Our armed forces are a patriotic military rooted in the independence movement, a military of peace that leads inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation, and a military of the people that assumes the lead in helping the people when they are in need."
"Peace is not something to maintain but to create," he said, adding, "We will build a national security posture no one can challenge."
President Moon also hailed the military for its "decisive determination" to devise and implement an inter-Korean military agreement that enabled the demilitarization of the Joint Security Area and a meeting among the leaders of the two Koreas and the U.S. at the United Nations village of Panmunjeom earlier this year.
He also said the armed forces also made possible his proposal on Sept. 24 at the 74th U.N. General Assembly on turning the Demilitarized Zone into an international peace zone and declaring zero tolerance for war.
Dubbed "Strong armed forces with the people," the ceremony had about 2,300 people attending including Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo, military cadets and flagbearers, Korean War veterans and personnel from U.S. forces in Korea.
Also in the ceremony, the F-35A stealth fighter, a key strategic weapon for the military, was introduced for the first time in the country. F-14K fighter jets, assigned to protect the nation's airspace, also took off and returned during the ceremony.