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S. Korea to hold 70th armistice anniv. ceremony in Busan this weekBy Yonhap
Published : July 26, 2023 - 10:49
South Korea will hold a major ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that halted the 1950-53 Korean War in the southeastern city of Busan later this week, the veterans ministry said Wednesday.
The ceremony is set to begin at 7:40 p.m. Thursday in the Busan Cinema Center -- a symbolic site of a former air port, where Task Force Smith, a small US unit, first arrived under a high-stakes mission to stem North Korean advances during the war.
On July 27, 1953, the US-led UN Command, North Korea and China signed the armistice, halting the fighting in the war, where UN forces fought alongside South Korean soldiers to expel North Korean invaders backed by China and the then Soviet Union.
Some 4,000 people are expected to join the ceremony, including 170 representatives from 25 countries, including the 22 countries that sent troops or other forms of support to South Korea during the war. Also among them is Dame Cindy Kiro, governor-general of New Zealand.
Under the main theme of "Freedom by Dedication, Future by Alliance," the hourlong event will feature a parade of 62 foreign Korean War veterans escorted by an honor guard along a "path of heroes."
Their names will appear on a large screen set up on the stage in a show of respect for their wartime services.
Kiro will deliver a speech. Patrick J. Finn, a 92-year-old former US Marine, and a 93-year-old veteran noted for his win in "Britain's Got Talent," a major British TV competition, in 2019, plan to sing the Korean traditional folk song, "Arirang."
"I hope we can make the next 70 years with a firmer solidarity by sharing with the alliance the prosperity and the value of freedom the Republic of Korea has built based on the dedication of the countries and veterans that participated in the war," Veterans Minister Park Min-shik was quoted as saying.
During the war, 16 countries, including the United States, Britain and Canada, sent combat troops, while six other countries, including India, Norway and Denmark, provided medical and other assistance. (Yonhap)
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