S. Korea commemorates U.N. troops’ sacrifices during Korean War

SEOUL– South Korea held an annual ceremony Wednesday to commemorate the sacrifices of U.N. troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War, stating that the fallen heroes would never be forgotten.

The Korean War U.N. Veterans Day event was held at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in downtown Seoul, hosted by the veterans affairs ministry under the slogan of “We go together.” Some 1,000 attendees included war veterans, senior government officials and military personnel.

“Even at this moment, North Korea is threatening South Korea’s security,” Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said in a commemorative speech on the 69th anniversary of the armistice that ended the conflict. “South Korea will always remember the love for mankind demonstrated by the U.N. war heroes.”

The U.S. Eighth Army band and South Korean defense ministry band opened the ceremony by playing “Arirang,” a popular Korean folk song, which the U.S. military played for the U.N. delegation returning after signing the armistice.

The national flags of the 22 countries that helped South Korea in the war then appeared alongside those of South Korea and the United Nations. Various performances were also staged in honor of those who fought under the U.N. banner during the three-year conflict.

Around 1.95 million service members from 22 countries fought to help South Korea defend itself from the invading North Korea supported by China. More than 37,000 of them died, with 3,950 others missing.

The U.S. deployed 1.78 million troops, with 33,686 of them killed in the war.

While making efforts for dialogue and cooperation, South Korea will continue security-related measures on the basis of the robust alliance with the U.S., Han said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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