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"The hostilities of the past may be easing"
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Tony Eagles
who was a front line soldier with the Gloucesters and fought in the Imjin River battle
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Friday, 20 April, 2001, 09:49 GMT 10:49 UK
War dead remembered in Korea
Korean border post
The Korean border: North and South remain technically at war
By Caroline Gluck in Pusan

More than 400 veterans from several Commonwealth countries together with hundreds more serving soldiers have taken part in a Korean War commemoration service.

The service is one of several events marking the 50th anniversary of the three-year Korean conflict, which broke out when troops from communist North Korea invaded the South on 25 June 1950.

It is being held at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in the southern port city of Pusan - the only UN cemetery in the world.

It is estimated that more than three million people died in the conflict, often called the forgotten war.

2,000 bodies

Commemorative wreaths were laid at the cemetery by representatives from each of the 21 countries that took part in the UN Command Force during the Korean War.

Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew, who planted a tree marking the first British-Korean contact, was also in Pusan
The bodies of more than 2,000 servicemen are buried here - just a fraction of the total number of UN forces killed during the three-year conflict.

The UN body had supported a US-led international force, which intervened to support South Korea against an invading army from the communist North, later backed up by Chinese forces.

The Korean conflict broke out soon after the World War II, and was largely overshadowed by the Vietnam War.

No peace treaty

But veterans said that the commemorative events marking the 50th anniversary showed that the sacrifices of those who lost their lives were not in vain and would never be forgotten.

North korea
The North is still considered a military threat
The Korean War ended inconclusively and without a permanent peace treaty.

Even today the two Koreas still remain technically at war.

Speaking at the service, General Sir Anthony Farah-Hockley, who was taken prisoner by the North Koreans, said that the preservation of South Korea was an important accomplishment.

But a longer-term goal still remained, he said - reuniting people on both sides of the Korean peninsula so that they may live together in peace, prosperity and democracy.

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See also:

19 Apr 01 | Asia-Pacific
Korea - the forgotten war
15 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Korean landings remembered
14 May 99 | Asia-Pacific
US Korean war dead returned
05 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
US cuts Korean war deaths
21 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
New evidence of Korean war killings
14 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Koreas begin 'reconciliation week'
19 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: North Korea sets its price
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