President Moon Jae-in says he is working to make South Korea a country of peace and prosperity, free from war.
A day ahead of the 69th anniversary of the Korean War, which started on June 25th, 1950, the president held a luncheon on Monday with around 180 war veterans and their families at the Blue House.
He expressed gratitude to the war heroes for their efforts to protect freedom and peace.
However, he said such efforts need to keep going, as the war itself has not ended.
"On July 27, 1953, the gunsmoke cleared, but the war was not completely over. I believe that creating a peaceful Korean Peninsula, free from worry about another war, is the true way to repay the sacrifices you made in wartime."
President Moon also said that by repelling North Korea's invasion, South Korea was able to keep its identity and achieve what it has achieved since then.
And he highlighted that at the center of the Korean War was the United States.
Among the nearly 2-million people from 22 countries who fought for the nation, he said Americans were the ones who sacrificed the most.
"The government plans to build a memorial wall at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington to honor their sacrifices. South Korea and the U.S. will remember their great alliance and together open the road to permanent peace."
The president vowed to do his best to enhance national prestige, and work to recover the soldiers' remains until every last one is returned to his family.
Park Hee-jun, Arirang News.