The ICAS Lectures


Introduction of General B. B. Bell

Bruce Klingner

ICAS Liberty Award Dinner

December 5, 2014
Cannon Caucus Room
United States Congress
Capitol Hill Washington DC

Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.

Biographic sketch & Links: Bruce Klingner

Intruduction of General B. B. Bell

Bruce Klingner
Senior Research Fellow, Northeast Asia
The Heritage Foundation
December 5, 2014

History records that the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. But it has not ended on the Korean Peninsula.

In Europe, the Iron Curtain marked the stark separation between the forces of darkness on one side from the free world on the other.

The same is still true in Korea. We are all familiar with the nighttime satellite photos of the peninsula which show the vivid difference between the dark, brutal oppression and poverty of North Korea from the brightness of the economic miracle of the Republic of Korea.

Those photos reveal North Korea as a black hole a country in which the lights of freedom...the lights of democracy...of human rights...and, for too many, even the light of hope have been extinguished.

The demilitarized zone is a vivid gash across the Korean Peninsula that divides the Korean people...indeed divides the Korean soul.

This defense of light from darkness has not been maintained by itself. It has required decades of selfless devotion by the brave men and women of the armed forces of the Republic of Korea and the United States.

They have provided the shield behind which the south was able to recover from the devastation of war and not only rebuild...but to triumph.

These resolute men and women have valiantly stood on the ramparts of freedom to protect the flame of liberty in the South -- which also serves as a beacon to the oppressed Korean brethren in the North.

As George Orwell wrote, "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Tonight, we are gathered to honor one of those men.

During a long and distinguished career in the United States Army, General B.B. Bell has stood on the ramparts of freedom in Kuwait...and on the Korean Peninsula.

During his 39 year service, he had a long, long list of assignments.
In public speeches, General Bell has described his love for the Korean people...and I venture to say one in particular his Korean granddaughter Jin-Hui Bell. He described her as his Korean Princess who was and I quote -- "without a doubt the smartest, cutest and most well-behaved seven year old child on planet Earth."

He described his dream of taking her to Korea, not only to absorb the country and culture of her birth, but someday to walk with her hand-in-hand freely across what is today the Demilitarized Zone and the Military Demarcation Line to celebrate the peaceful reunification of Korea and its people.

I fervently hope that he and Jin Hui and all the Korean people north and south get to fulfill that dream. To walk freely across a Korea no longer divided by barbed wire....and by barriers of distrust.

But instead a Korea united by common bonds of culture and democracy and freedom. To get there -- Katchi Kapshida we go together with the help of men like General Bell.

This page last updated December 13, 2014 jdb