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Australian veterans to attend Korean armistice commemorations.



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The Hon. Danna Vale MP Minister for Veterans' Affairs Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence

Media Release

Thursday 17 July 2003

VA071

AUSTRALIAN VETERANS TO ATTEND KOREAN ARMISTICE COMMEMORATIONS

Three Korean War veterans and a war widow will travel to Korea next week with the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Danna Vale, to represent Australia at events to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War armistice.

Mrs Vale said the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which was signed at Panmunjom on 27 July 1953, was an opportunity to honour the service and sacrifice of those who served in one of the harshest conflicts in which Australians had fought.

“More than 17,000 Australians served in the Korean War - 339 were killed, 1216 were injured and 29 taken prisoner of war,” she said.

“The defence of South Korea was the first United Nations action to collectively repel aggression and confirmed Australia’s role as a protector of the sovereignty of nations on the world stage.”

The delegation will depart Sydney for Korea on Thursday 24 July to attend a range of commemorative events, including a Battle of Kapyong commemorative service and a wreath laying at the Australian Memorial in Kapyong on Saturday 26 July. Some 32 Australians died during the battle in April 1951 which halted the enemy advance on Seoul.

The focus of the visit will be major United Nations commemorative ceremonies on 27 July and the unveiling of a new Korean War monument at the National War Museum in Seoul.

Representatives of the Korean War veteran community travelling with the Minister are:

• Navy veteran Rear Admiral Andrew Robertson (ret’d) from NSW; • Army veteran Norman Goldspink from the ACT; • Air Force veteran Geoffry Lushey from WA; and • War widow Eve Taylor, from NSW, whose husband Bernard Goldsmith was killed at

Kapyong.

“These ceremonies mark the end of a three-year commemorative program of events organised by the Government of the Republic of Korea, recognising the 50th anniversary of key milestones in the Korean War,” Mrs Vale said.

Media Contact: Rachael Thompson (02) 6277 7820 or 0417 265 289