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Korean War veterans revisit country alongside Defence Minister

Earl Howe, the Minister of State for Defence, is in South Korea to support the annual Revisit Korea programme for war veterans.

A memorial to the Korean War was unveiled in London in 2014.
A memorial to the Korean War was unveiled in London in 2014.

The week-long programme is hosted by the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs and features a number of events including ceremonies at Imjin, Gapyeong and Busan cemetery.

Fifty-three British veterans, their families and carers will attend the events. The aim of the Revisit Korea Programme is to express gratitude to Korean War veterans and to give them the opportunity to see how they helped bring peace and prosperity thanks to their sacrifices and dedication.

The war was the first UN action against aggression and the UN forces that fought the North Korean invasion were drawn from 21 countries. The UK is proud to have stood side-by-side with the ROK and other allies during the war.

Around 82,000 British service personnel were deployed and most of the British dead are buried in the UN Memorial Cemetery outside Busan. A memorial to the conflict was unveiled in 2014 outside the MOD in London.

Earl Howe said:

It is a privilege to visit the Republic of Korea, which has a long history with the UK, and to meet our brave veterans who fought alongside more than 1,000 UK military personnel who lost their lives in the Korean War.

We are strengthening the relationship with the Republic of Korea - a key regional and international partner - and continue to work together for a peaceful, prosperous and secure future in the region and beyond.

During his visit, he will attend remembrance ceremonies in Seolma-ri, Busan and Gapyeong and will meet with the Korean Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, Park Sungchoon, to discuss commemoration issues.

This year personal effects belonging to late Korean War veteran Colonel James Power Carne VC DSO will be donated to the recently opened United Nations Peace Memorial Hall in Busan.

The Korean Government generously sponsors many of the veterans’ travel and the programme culminates in a banquet on the last evening.

Published 22 April 2016