On 27 March 1971, just a month before Korea’s seventh presidential election, the US completed the withdrawal of one-third of its 62,000 servicemen in Korea. On this date, Park issued a “special statement” announcing the government’s Five-Year Military Modernization Plan (1971-6) and making an open appeal to the US Government to meet its obligations in regard to Korea’s defense security. Park unambiguously demanded that the US honor its Cold War commitment to the Korean problem and accordingly give Korea a “guarantee of security first and then reduce the Army.” He believed that the US had an obligation to help transform the Korean Army into a modern force. Park’s statement was his first open appeal to the Korean people in connection with the changing US policy toward Korea which, he argued, had to be understood and responded to in all seriousness in order to protect Korea’s independence (PPCHS vol. 8 1971: 102).