Lee thanks war veterans, patriots on eve of Memorial Day
President Lee Myung-bak hosted lunch Tuesday for Korean War veterans, relatives of war dead and other patriots, saying their sacrifices made Korea one of the world's largest economies.
"We are divided between the South and the North," Lee said. "While the North still goes starving, the Republic of Korea saw its per capita national income topping $20,000 and its population exceeding 50 million. We are the world's seventh nation" to reach the mark.
"Here today are those who contributed to building this nation like a miracle," he said.
Lee said countries around the world have a high view of the achievements South Korea has made, but he regrets that some people in the country hold negative views of them. Lee did not elaborate, but he was believed to be referring to those sympathetic to North Korea.
The lunch came on the eve of Memorial Day honoring Korean War dead and other patriots. The 1950-53 conflict ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, leaving the divided peninsula still technically at war. (Yonhap)