Paik expected to be a honorary 5 star

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Paik expected to be a honorary 5 star

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Paik Sun-yup

Korea’s political parties will set aside their differences, at least temporarily, and ask the National Assembly to nominate Paik Sun-yup, a retired army general who served in the Korean War, to become the nation’s first honorary five-star general, an unprecedented honor.

Kim Jang-soo, representative of the ruling Grand National Party and former defense minister, said yesterday he would raise the issue today at the general meeting of the Defense Committee under the National Assembly. “The main opposition Democratic Party is also behind this idea,” Kim said.

Paik was the Army Chief of Staff during the Korean War. Prior to that, he was the commander of the 1st Army Division, the first South Korean unit to enter Pyongyang during the Korean War. Paik later became the South’s first-ever four-star general. He was regarded highly for leading his troops to victories in major battles.

Kim said honoring Paik would be part of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. Under the current law, only active generals considered to have made great contributions to the nation may be given the rank of five-star general. But Kim stressed that Paik’s designation “would literally be honorary.”

If approved, Paik would be not only the first honorary five-star general, but the first-ever five-star general in South Korea’s history.

“Defense Minister Kim Tae-young told the National Assembly last year that he would actively pursue this matter,” Kim Jang-soo added. “It would be a symbolic move and the government should take the initiative.”

Kim Young-woo, another GNP representative and a member of the Defense Committee, said aside from honoring Paik, the government should run projects to show appreciation for all Korean War veterans.


By Jung Hyo-sik [jeeho@joongang.co.kr]
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백선엽 첫 명예원수 추대 … 한나라 오늘 국방위 제안



國‘6·25 전쟁영웅’ 백선엽(90) 예비역 대장을 창군 사상 최초로 명예원수로 추대하는 방안이 추진된다.

한나라당 김장수 의원은 “18일 국방위 전체회의에서 ‘백선엽 장군 명예원수 추대 촉구 결의안’을 제안하겠다”고 17일 밝혔다. 그는 “민주당도 결의안 채택에 찬성한다”고 말했다.

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