Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum paid tribute to Turkish troops killed in the 1950-1953 Korean War on Saturday as he wrapped up his three-day visit to the transcontinental country before heading to Qatar.
Kim marked a moment of silence and laid a wreath at a monument at the Korean War Memorial Park in Ankara to pay respect to the fallen Turkish soldiers. He also greeted and thanked surviving war veterans during the ceremony.
The prime minister wrote a message in the guestbook that read, “I deeply thank the war veterans of Turkey who devoted their youth to people whom they had not met in a faraway land.”
Turkey sent the fourth-largest number of troops to fight in the Korean War, even though Seoul and Ankara had not established diplomatic ties then. The two officially established diplomatic relationship in 1957.
Before visiting the Korean War Memorial Park, Kim went to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and paid his respect to the founder of modern Turkey. He also had a luncheon with Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay.
Kim’s trip to Turkey was the first in nine years by a South Korean prime minister.
On Friday, he attended the opening ceremony of the 1915 Canakkale Bridge built by South Korean and Turkish firms.
The 1915 Canakkale Bridge, which straddles the Dardanelles strait in northwestern Turkey, is the world’s longest suspension bridge, with a 2,023-meter span between its towers.
He also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and discussed ways to strengthen the two nations’ economic and diplomatic ties. During their meeting, Kim delivered President Moon Jae-in’s letter to Erdogan.
Kim will depart for Qatar later Saturday for a two-day visit that includes talks with his counterpart, Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani, about ways to expand cooperation in the energy field.
Source: Yonhap News Agency