On the occasion of the 70th Founding Anniversary of the People’s Army of Viet Nam and the 25th Year of the National Defense Day, Ambassador and Mrs. Pham Huu Chi of Vietnam in Seoul hosted a reception at the Seoul Lotte Hotel on Dec. 17, 2014.
Many distinguished guests attended the function from the government, business community and various other segments of Korean society as well as from the Diplomatic Corps.
Among the Korean guests were Director-General Lee Jeong-gyu of the International Policy Bureau of the Ministry of National Defense (MND), Rear Admiral Lee Bum-rim (director of Foreign Intelligence Department of the MND National Intelligence Agency), Chairman Dr. Hwang Geum-Chu of Korea-Vietnam Cultural Exchange Association, Professor Ahn Kyong-Hwan of Chosun University (honorary citizen of Hanoi) and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post.
From the Diplomatic Corps came many mission chiefs and senior diplomats as well as defense attaches from dozens of countries represented in Korea. Among them were Ambassadors Konstantin V. Vnukov of Russia, Dato Rohana binti Ramli of Malaysia, Suth Dina of Cambodia, Raul S. Hernandez of the Philippines and Bakhtier N. Ibragimov of Uzbekistan (CDA). Among the defense attaches were Defence Attache Ajay Chandpuria of India (dean of the Defense Attache Corps in Korea) as well as Defence Attache Dau Xuan Long of Vietnam.
There also was a traditional Vietnamese zither performance presented by a Vietnamese lady musician.
Speaking to the guests, Ambassador Pham said in part: “Seventy years ago, in a northern mountainous area, our Late President Ho Chi Minh established a small unit called Propaganda Unit for National Liberation headed by General Vo Nguyen Giap. After 70 years of development, this small unit of 34 soldiers now become strong and full-fledged Armed Forces with Army, Navy and Air Force. Our Armed forces have deeply engraved in the Vietnamese modern history by glorious victories under the symbols of ‘Soldiers of Uncle Ho’. ”
Then he said that within the framework of the “Viet Nam-Korea Strategic Cooperative Partnership”, the Viet Nam-Korea defense cooperation has vigorously developed in a more comprehensive and effective manner and that the two sides have implemented various cooperation projects in such fields as exchanges of military and academic delegations, education and training, culture and sports, experience-sharing in peace-keeping efforts, etc. (See excerpts from the speech at the end of this Article.)
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Pham:
First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks to your presence in this Reception despite of the coldness and snow outside.
Our Reception today is organized on the same date with all the Vietnamese missions abroad and various cerebrating activities in Viet Nam in order to review the development of our People’s Army and pay tribute to our heroic martyrs, who sacrificed their lives for the peace, unification, national integrity and development of Viet Nam
Ladies and gentlemen,
Seventy years ago, in a northern mountainous area, our Late President Ho Chi Minh established a small unit called Propaganda Unit for National Liberation headed by General Vo Nguyen Giap. After 70 years of development, this small unit of 34 soldiers now become strong and full-fledged Armed Forces with Army, Navy and Air Force. Our Armed forces have deeply engraved in the Vietnamese modern history by glorious victories under the symbols of “Soldiers of Uncle Ho”.
In our national struggle for national independence and unification, under the leadership of President Ho Chi Minh and the command of General Vo Nguyen Giap, the People’s Army of Viet Nam achieved an unprecedented victory in Dien Bien Phu on 7 May 1954 and the Spring Victory on 30 April 1975 in order to gain independence and unification for our country. Furthermore, the People’s Army of Viet Nam also completed its international responsibility by helping the Cambodian people overthrowing the Pol Pot genocide regime in late 1970s and 1980s. Moreover, the People’s Army of Viet Nam also firmly defended and defeated all conspiracies and infringement to the national sovereignty and integrity of Viet Nam. After the Doi Moi (renovation process), the People’s Army of Viet Nam has actively been involved in not only defending our land, air and sea sovereignty, but also participated in the joint national efforts to deal with various non-tradition security threats, including natural disasters, search and rescue, etc.
Today, under the leadership of the CPV, our Vietnam Army is entering a new development period in a more modern and high qualitative manner. We actively participate in regional and international efforts for maintaining peaceful environment, preventing war, and effectively dealing with non-traditional security threats. We have established defense cooperation relations with 80 countries and international organizations, including the UN, the EU and all superpowers in the world. We have assigned military attaches in 36 countries and received the military attaches from 45 countries in Viet Nam. In 2014, Viet Nam has established the “United Nations Peace-keeping Center” in Ha Noi in order to participate in the joint peace-keeping efforts under the leadership of the UN in some conflicted areas in the world.
On behalf of the Government of Viet Nam, I would like to reiterate our consistent defense policy that “We are friends with all countries, our Armed Forces are ready to develop the in-depth and extensive cooperation with their counterparts of all countries in the world for the sake of peace, stability and prosperity”. Our efforts to build a strong defence and our expanded military cooperation with other countries have a sole purpose of defending our country and contributing to the peace and security in the region and the world. We have the consistent principles of not allying with one country to be against another. We do not allow foreign military base in our territory but welcome port visits by friendly countries’ naval ships. Those policies and principles are clearly reflected in our annual White Paper in the recent years.
Within the framework of the “Viet Nam-Korea Strategic Cooperative Partnership”, the Viet Nam-Korea defense cooperation has vigorously developed in a more comprehensive and effective manner. The two sides have implemented various cooperation projects in such fields as exchanges of military and academic delegations, education and training, culture and sports, experience-sharing in peace-keeping efforts, etc. I believe that these cooperation programs will be further enhanced after the two successful visits of the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Viet Nam in October and the working visit to Korea of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last week.
For the last words, I would like to wish the New Year 2015 to be the year of ever-growing friendship and cooperation between the People’s Army of Viet Nam and the Korean Armed Forces as well as with the militaries of all the countries that you represent.
I would also like to wish all of you a New Year with best of health, happiness and successes.