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S. Korean Army commander to receive U.S. military medal

Major Gen. Chun In-bum
Major Gen. Chun In-bum
A Souh Korean Army commander will be decorated on Friday with a prestigious military medal from the U.S. government for his contribution to enhancing the bilateral military alliance, officials said Thursday.

Major Gen. Chun In-bum, the head of the 27th Division, will receive the Legion of Merit from U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Kathleen Stephens at her residence in central Seoul. The medal is the third-highest American military medal, but the highest a foreign soldier can receive, according to officials.

He has been credited for helping enhance cooperation between the allied troops while working as a chief of the body at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which oversaw the transfer of wartime operational control, for one year from November 2008.

He had pushed ahead with some 150 tasks for the OPCON transfer from Washington to Seoul that is scheduled to take place in December 2015 and helped strengthen operational capabilities of the combined forces, officials said.

Through a variety of military positions, Chun has helped maintain good relations with U.S. military commanders.

In 2005, Chun, then a colonel, was posted to the Multinational Force Iraq, or MNF-I, to assist Iraqis in holding general elections. For this, he received the Bronze Star Medal from the U.S. government for the first time as a senior Korean soldier. He also was honored with the Hwarang Order of Military Merit by the Korean government.

His mother is Korea’s first female diplomat Hong Suk-ja while his wife is Shim Hwa-jin, president of Sungshin Women’s University.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldcorp.com)
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