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Pyeongtaek Global Peace and Security Forum kicks off on Monday Updated: 2021-09-27 17:06:56 KST

The "Global Peace and Security Forum" kicked off on Monday, to discuss peace and security on the Korean Peninsula amid the changing environment in Northeast Asia.
The two-day event was organized by the city of Pyeongtaek, where Camp Humphreys, the largest overseas U.S. military base, is situated.
The city, located 70 kilometers south of Seoul, also houses Osan Air Base, one of the two major airfields operated by the U.S. in Korea.
The mayor of the city said Pyeongtaek's role is crucial in developing the Korea-U.S. alliance and emphasized the importance of good, neighborly relationships.

"Pyeongtaek is where most of the U.S. Forces in Korea and their families live. So I think the role of Pyeongtaek is very important in terms of diplomatic relations.
This includes what the city should do and how the Pyeongtaek citizens should cooperate with the military."

In a pre-recorded opening speech, the country's foreign minister Chung Eui-yong also said that it's important to explore the roles of Pyeongtaek and U.S. Forces Korea in order to develop a stronger alliance.

"The South Korea-U.S. alliance is the foundation of our foreign and security policy and is a cornerstone for peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia. The combined defense system supports the diplomatic efforts of the Korean government, which aims to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula."

Former commander of U.S. Forces Korea, Vincent Brooks, who participated in the event virtually, said that there is a need to work together in order for the alliance to remain strong.

"We must guard against any wedges that would seek to split the alliance, whether they are North Korean wedges, whether they're Chinese wedges, whether they are U.S.-South Korean political wedges the alliance must stay strong."

On Tuesday, the participants at the forum will discuss the specific role of Pyeongtaek city in the evolving alliance between the two countries.
Bae Eun-ji, Arirang News.
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