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Obama‘s office says he will attend Korean War ceremony

By 김정보

Published : July 23, 2013 - 10:47

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The White House announced Monday that President Barack Obama will join a special ceremony to mark Korean War Armistice Day this weekend.

"On Saturday, July 27, President Obama will deliver remarks at the Korean War Veterans Memorial to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended the Korean War," the White House said in a press release.

Obama would become the first U.S. president to take part in such a formal ceremony to commemorate Armistice Day.

The three-year conflict came to an effective end on July 27, 1953, with the armistice, not a formal peace treaty.

The Korean War is often called the "Forgotten War." The Pentagon is redoubling efforts to enhance public awareness on the historical significance of the war in which the U.S. fought alongside the South against the invading North backed by the Chinese military.

According to the U.S. government, 36,573 American troops were killed, with 103,284 others wounded.

"Defense Secretary (Chuck) Hagel will join the President for the program which will include wreath laying ceremonies, special tributes, and recognize the United Nations Allies that provided combat troops, medical teams, and other support," the White House said.

This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the birth of the Seoul-Washington alliance.

Obama also plans to send a five-member delegation to a separate official ceremony in Seoul on July 27 (local time) to mark the anniversary of signing the armistice agreement, his office said.

It will be headed by U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Sung Y. Kim. The other members are Gen. James D. Thurman, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, James Zumwalt, deputy assistant secretary of state for Korea and Japan, David Helvey, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, and Brig. Gen. David Stilwell, strategic plans and policy deputy director for Asia at the Joint Staff, it said.

Addressing a meeting of veterans Monday in Kentucky, meanwhile, Hagel noted the sacrifices and contributions made by American soldiers who took part in the Korean War.

"The upcoming observance of the 60th anniversary is an opportunity for this country to fully express its profound gratitude for your service and your sacrifices and the contributions you have made," he said at the 114th National Conventional of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

"The Korean War veterans here today and all those across the country should know that your fellow citizens are proud of what you've accomplished and what your generation has contributed to our security and our prosperity here in this country and certainly in Asia," he added. (Yonhap News)