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Australia remembers the Korean war

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Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Subscription List

Saturday, 27 July 2013 VA06

Australia remembers the Korean War

Veterans of the Korean War gathered at services across Australia and overseas this week for Korean Veterans’ Day, marking the 60th anniversary of signing of the Korean War Armistice.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Warren Snowdon said that a national service to be held at the Korean War Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra today will be a poignant reminder of a conflict, often referred to as the ‘forgotten war.’

“Sixty years on from the Korean War Armistice, it is important that all Australians take the time to honour the service and sacrifice of the sailors, soldiers, airmen and nurses who served in Korea,” Mr Snowdon said.

More than 18,000 Australians served in the Korean War. Of those, 340 made the ultimate sacrifice, 1,200 were wounded and 43 are still listed as missing in action today.

“May we never forget their sacrifice, the suffering of families who lost loved ones nor the scars of service that live with those who return,” Mr Snowdon said.

Korean Veterans’ Day marks the 60th anniversary of the end to active fighting on the Korean peninsula on 27 July 1953, and the day an Armistice was signed, ending a three-year conflict between the Allies, Japanese and South Korean forces. In addition to the Australian casualties, an estimated half a million South Koreans died as a result of the war.

“Australians were involved in every aspect of the Korean War in the sea, land and sky. On land, they played a vital role in the battles of Kapyong and Maryang San where they faced hand-to-hand combat with the enemy, often serving in freezing winters and oppressive summers.”

Fifteen Australian veterans of the Korean War are in the Republic of Korea on a commemorative mission marking the 60th anniversary of the Armistice signing. Today they attended international commemorations alongside comrades of other Allied nations, including Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and United States.

The National Service will be held in Canberra at 11.30am (AEST), the International Service in Korea will be held at 11am (AEST) at the Korean War Memorial in Seoul.

Editor’s note: Follow the veterans in Korea on Facebook at DVA Aus, Twitter at @dvaaus, Flickr at DVA Aus and Defence Image Gallery. Veteran biographies, images, historical background and other resources are available at For interviews with veteran representatives contact or +61 (0)428 805 578

Media inquiries: Minister Snowdon: Marcus Butler 02 6277 7820 or 0417 917 796 Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046.

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