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Veterans To Attend Korean War Armistice Commemoration

Thirty New Zealand veterans who served in the Korean War will attend commemorations in the Republic of Korea to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice in July.

The veterans, aged between 73 and 88 will travel to the Republic of Korea as part of the official delegation, which will be led by Veterans’ Affairs Minister, Hon Michael Woodhouse.

They will attend an Anzac service on 26 July in Kapyong, a Republic of Korea official commemoration at the National War Memorial in Seoul on 27 July, and a Combined Nations Service at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery Korea (UNMCK) in Busan followed by a New Zealand National Service at New Zealand’s National Memorial in UNMCK, both on 28 July.

During the seven years of New Zealand’s involvement in Korea between 1950 and 1957, around 4700 personnel served in Kayforce, with a further 1300 serving in Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) frigates.

Forty-five men lost their lives, 79 personnel were wounded and one member of Kayforce was taken prisoner and held in North Korea for eighteen months before being released.

Veterans’ Affairs General Manager, Rick Ottaway, says New Zealand had a significant role in the Korean War and it is great that veterans have the opportunity to attend these commemorations.

“These are brave men who served their country extremely well,” Rick Ottaway says.

“These commemorations will allow the veterans to pay their respects to lost comrades, as well as share their war stories with one another.”

To be eligible to attend the commemorations, veterans must have qualified for at least one of the following while attested into the New Zealand Armed Forces: the Korea Medal, the UN Service Medal, the UN Service Medal Clasp ‘KOREA’, or the New Zealand General Service Medal (Korea 1954-57).

Under extant policy for 60th anniversary commemorations, a specified number of eligible veterans, selected by ballot, will attend commemorations as members of the government-funded New Zealand delegation. The 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice is one of these commemorations.

All veterans have been medically assessed to ensure they are fit to travel and participate in the commemorative events in the Republic of Korea.

The delegation will travel by Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Boeing 757.  All international travel, accommodation, on-ground transport, and medical costs for veterans are being funded by Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand.

Veterans will depart Whenuapai on Tuesday 23 July, and will return to New Zealand on Thursday 1 August.

ENDS

For further information contact Todd O'Hara, Defence Communications Group, on 021 626 578.

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