Mr Hammond visited Gloster Hill Memorial Park near the North Korean border where the Gloucestershire Regiment, known as the Glorious Glosters, and other British regiments engaged in ferocious fighting against overwhelming odds during the 1951 Battle of the Imjin River. He also visited the DMZ, the 4km-wide Demilitarised Zone separating South Korea and North Korea.
The tribute to Britain’s sacrifice in the Korean War came on the day Mr Hammond met South Korean president Park Guen-hye for talks about Britain’s growing partnership with the Republic of Korea in trade, defence, health and development. South Korea was a key ally in the recent battle against Ebola, providing medics for UK-built Ebola treatment centres.
The Foreign Secretary said:
The partnership between Britain and South Korea is the closest it has ever been and I believe it can become even closer in the years ahead.
South Korea is a successful outward-looking democracy, playing a full role as a member of the international community, and I look forward to working with this vibrant and determined nation in the years ahead.
On his visit to Gloster Hill Memorial Park, he said:
Britain’s contribution to the Korean War was crucial and it was a privilege to visit the newly-built Gloster Hill Memorial Park to pay my respects to the heroism of the British servicemen who fought and died defending freedom in Korea.
The memorial serves as a clear reminder of the historic links that exist between the British people and the people of South Korea.
Gloster Hill is the peak where men of the 1st battalion Gloucester Regiment fell back to following an assault of their positions by an enemy force ten times larger.
Notes to Editors
- Contact Reuters for further pictures from the Foreign Secretary’s visit