UN allies to mark recapture of Seoul
By Jung Sung-ki
About 70 representatives from 16 nations that participated in the Korean War under the flag of the United Nations arrived in Seoul Saturday to attend a ceremony to commemorate the recapture of Seoul from North Korea by U.N. allied forces.
The war broke out on June 25, 1950, and just three days later, Seoul was taken over by North Korean troops and the South Korean government was forced to flee south.
Twenty-one U.N. nations sent troops to help South Korea fight against North Korea that was backed by China.
On Sept. 28, 1950, South Korean and U.N. coalition troops recovered the capital of South Korea, following the historical Incheon Landing Operation led by U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The once-evacuated South Korean government was able to return to Seoul.
The representatives will pay tribute Monday to the South Korean soldiers killed in the fratricidal war at the national cemetery in Seoul.
On Tuesday, they will attend a ceremony in central Seoul to commemorate the recapture of the capital. The representatives will pay a courtesy call to President Lee Myung-bak later in the day at Cheong Wa Dae.
On Wednesday, the delegates are scheduled to visit the Demilitarized Zone that still divides the two Koreas.
Key delegates include Eric Shinseki, secretary of U.S. veteran’s affairs; Andrew Robathan, minister of defense personnel, welfare representatives and veterans of the United Kingdom; Eimert van Middelkoop, minister of defense of the Netherlands; Rodrigo Rivera Salazar, minister of defense of Colombia; and Pieter De Crem, minister of defense of Belgium.