In the early morning hours of June 25, 1950, North Korea launched a surprise attack on South Korea, the start of a three-year war that would be the first armed conflict of the Cold War. Armed with Soviet-made tanks and fighter planes, the North Koreans took the South Korean capital of Seoul in just three days. By August, they had pushed the beleaguered South Koreans and Americans all the way to the Nakdong River. / Courtesy of John Rich
By Kim Se-jeong
Memories of war can never be as vivid to those who have not been through it.
A recent exhibition, "Korean War in Color" by American War correspondent John Rich adds color to the memory of what's known as "The Forgotten War" on the Korean peninsula between 1950-53.
Rich was a war correspondent working for U.S. broadcasting company NBC at the time of the conflict. Altogether he shot 900 rolls of film in crisp color with Kodak's legendary Kodachrome film, securing the quality of the photos after 60 years.
The photos were stored in a Japanese tea chest until they were rediscovered at Rich's home in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The Smithsonian Magazine, a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Smithsonian Institute, once published his photos.
The rights to distribute 173 photos were bought by Seoul Selection for the first time.
The same 173 photos were also turned into a book on May 12 with the same title.
In the prologue to the book, Rich writes, "It's my hope that readers of this book will understand the travails of war, and the fact that unlike any other human endeavor, it is a lesson in sacrifice and resilience."
He was unable to travel to Korea for the exhibition or the book opening.
The exhibition will stay open until June 30 at the Cheong Wa Dae Sarangchae, an exhibition hall near the Cheong Wa Dae compound. The book is now available for sale.
Born in 1917, John Rich spent 30 years as a war correspondent. Starting with World War II, he covered the Vietnam War, the Korean War and civil wars in Africa. In 1991, at the age of 73, he covered the Gulf War (1991-92). Rich owns the copyright of the photos, and Seoul Selection is an authorized distributor in Korea.