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Teacher receives medal for bravery in Korean War

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Published : 2012-09-19 19:40
Updated : 2012-09-19 19:40

The government will bestow a medal on late Kim Jae-ok for her contribution to the South Korean forces during the 1950-1953 Korean War.

The medal will be received by her son Lee Hoon, the only surviving member of her family, at the Sept. 26 Armed Forces Day celebrations.

Kim is the first civilian to receive a medal on the Oct. 1 Armed Forces Day.
Kim Jae-ok

On July 6, 1950, Kim became aware of a North Korean army unit stockpiling weapons at the school in Chungju, North Chugncheong Province, where she was a teacher. She then slipped away from the North Korean soldiers to inform the 7th Regiment of the 6th Infantry Division of the South Korean army that was preparing an ambush at a nearby mountain.

The regiment attacked the location and was able to kill or capture more than 2,200 North Korean soldiers to win the first victory for South Korea after the war broke out in June 1950. The event was later portrayed in Im Kwon-taek’s 1966 film “War and the Woman Teacher.”

In October of that year Kim married Lieutenant Lee Deuk-joo of the regiment. Kim and her family, with the exception of her son, were murdered in 1963 by a conscripted man who had developed a grudge against the former commander of the unit Lee Deuk-joo had taken over. 

By Choe He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)

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