President Yoon Suk Yeol said the partnership with the U.S. has been upgraded to a "nuclear-based alliance" under the Washington Declaration established with President Joe Biden in April.
Delivering remarks in a ceremony marking the 68th Memorial Day held at the Seoul National Cemetery on Tuesday, Yoon said that North Korea has been advancing its nuclear and missile capabilities and has even legalized the use of nuclear weapons.
The president said that the declaration bolstering the U.S. nuclear commitment has strengthened the alliance between the two countries to an unprecedented level that provides an ironclad security posture to defend the lives and safety of the South Korean people.
Yoon also said it is the state's responsibility to remember and respect the fallen heroes who died while defending the country and the public.
He stressed that South Korea is built upon the sacrifice of those who fought for independence and resisted communism to build a liberal democracy, and their stories must be told to future generations.
Yoon also promised efforts to find the remains of the 120-thousand-odd Korean War veterans yet to be located so they can return to their families, while working to bring home the remains of freedom fighters who died overseas.
He also vowed to take better care of those in uniform including soldiers, police officers and firefighters, who put themselves in harm's way to protect the country and the people.
Yoon vowed to fulfill his constitutional duty to safeguard the nation’s independence and territorial integrity to ensure its existence.