General Kim’s visit was doubly significant as 2011 marks the 60th Anniversary of landmark Australian battles in Korea; at Kapyong in April 1951, and Maryang San in October 1951.
The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison welcomed General Kim, whose visit marked a milestone in Army’s relationship with the Republic of Korea (ROK). It was also the first occasion Army has formally received a Chief of Staff from the ROK.
“Army seeks to enhance the bilateral relationship with the Republic of Korea, which is founded on history and based on common strategic interests,” Lieutenant General Morrison said.
At Holsworthy, General Kim said, “Coming to the 3rd Battalion is a great event and a pleasure for me. If we have to work together in the future we will be able to harness great power.”
The visit also strengthens Army’s relationship with the ROK. Army seeks to continue and enhance relations with ROK by increasing practical cooperation in senior officer dialogue, attendance at junior officer professional development courses, counter terrorism, contingency exercises, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
“We value our relationship and embrace this opportunity to deepen cooperation with the Republic of Korea,” Lieutenant General Morrison said.
Australia and the Republic of Korea have common strategic interests, particularly in seeking a peaceful resolution to tensions on the Korean peninsula. Both countries have made significant and practical contributions in order to secure regional security and stability, including sending troops to Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor and in conducting counter-piracy operations.
The relationship between Australia and the ROK was strengthened by Australia's participation in the United Nations Commission on Korea which began in 1947, and continued during the Korean War (1950 - 1953).
During the Korean War, more than 18,000 Australian troops served under United Nations Command, with 339 Australians losing their lives.
In order to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the Governments of Australia and the ROK designated 2011 as a ‘Year of Friendship’.