Ambassador Mark Lippert
November 4, 2014 :
ROK MINISTER OF DEFENSE: Ambassador, once again I’d like to congratulate you on your appointment. And I remember that when we met a couple weeks ago in Washington, D.C., you expressed your special affection and expectations towards your service in Korea as well as describing your ambassadorial service as a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was deeply moved by your words. The Korean press has been deeply interested in you and they’ve published reports describing you as one of the youngest ambassadors but also one of the most powerful ambassadors. So, they have very high expectations for you, the Korean press, the Korean public, and I, myself, also have high expectations.
AMBASSADOR LIPPERT: Well, thank you Mister Minister, it’s a privilege and honor to be back in this room and see so many old friends and good friends here in the Ministry of National Defense. You are correct in your assessment in that it is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. And it’s a true honor and privilege to have this position, to work so closely with you and your team and your government here to deepen and strengthen the U.S.-ROK alliance.
I was e-mailing last night with Secretary Hagel and he said to send his deep regards and congratulate you again on a very successful SCM in Washington. He also wanted to make sure you got over your jet lag quickly. But again, thank you for hosting me here. It’s a real privilege. It’s an honor. Good to see so many friends here at MND.
ROK MINISTER OF DEFENSE: General Scaparrotti, we also have you here, and Ambassador, you too were also present at the SCM which was a big turning point for our alliance. We hope that the SCM this year could serve as a turning point from which we could embark on a much more comprehensive alliance. Within that new framework that we envision, we have a lot of military-related taskers for us ahead. I hope that through your appointment we can sincerely work on those projects and we develop the alliance forward. I, myself, will do all I can to ensure that we can achieve that progress as well.