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Old 06-25-2005, 04:56 AM
Roger
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Korea



Curator talks to Yongsan residents about Korean War, today's DMZ

Stars and Stripes
By T.D. Flack
June 25, 2005

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — The curator for The War Memorial of Korea visited Yongsan’s main post library Thursday to talk with residents about the beginning of the Korean War.


Kang Chang-kook, The War Memorial of Korea curator and former South Korean army major, talks Thursday to residents at Yongsan Garrison about Saturday’s 55th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.


Saturday is the 55th anniversary of the beginning of the war. Kang Chang-kook, curator and former South Korean army major, talked for about 45 minutes about his thoughts on history.

Kang spoke of the major events, reciting dates and figures without aid of notes. He talked of the 45,000 troops — including 5,637 Korean Augmentees to the U.S. Military — who made the Inchon Landing, led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. He talked about how U.N. and South Korean soldiers recovered the occupied city of Seoul on Sept. 27, 1950, and how they lost the city again on Jan. 4, 1951.

He said part of what he does as museum curator is educate younger Koreans about the importance of the 1.78 million U.N. forces who fought in Korea.

His message is that the Americans — who lost 33,642 troops in the war — should be welcomed warmly.

He stressed that the U.S. troops should visit the museum, which borders Yongsan’s main post — entry is free with a U.S. military identification card — and other historic spots such as “Freedom Bridge” and Panmunjom, which sits on the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea.

Even though the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, the “war has not ended,” he said.

Kang calls the DMZ “a scar of the Korean War.”

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Bruce Kahl, Chief of Naval Forces Branch J-3 Operations, attended the event with his daughter Janell, 18.

Kahl said he wanted to listen to Kang because “it seemed like an appropriate topic given our mission here.”

“It’s nice to be reminded … why we’re here,” he said.

Janell, who’s visiting Seoul before heading to college this fall, said she learned some things she didn’t know about the war.

Kim Imsoon, director of Area II’s four libraries, said the goal in inviting Kang to speak was to let Americans hear another point of view.

She appeared impressed by Kang’s mission to educate younger Koreans about the United Nations’ impact on the peninsula.

“My parents went through the war, so I grew up hearing about war” and how terrible it was, she said, adding that many of the younger generation lack that knowledge.

God Bless America

Semper Fidelis Marines

Roger
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