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New Zealand To Mark 71st Anniversary Of The Korean War

Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington will host the commemoration to mark the 71st anniversary of the Korean War on Friday 25 June.

"An Act of Remembrance ceremony will take place at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Pukeahu," says Neill Atkinson, Chief Historian, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

"We look forward to welcoming Korean War veterans at this annual ceremony. It will also be attended by Minister for Veterans Hon Meka Whaitiri, Minister of Defence Peeni Henare, Republic of Korea Ambassador His Excellency Mr Sang-jin Lee, and His Excellency Mr Leasi Papali'I Tommy Scanlan, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps."

The Korean War began on 25 June 1950, when communist North Korean forces crossed the 38th Parallel into South Korea. New Zealand was one of the first countries to answer the United Nations Security Council’s call for combat assistance.

Some 6,000 New Zealanders served in Korea between 1950 and 1957; 4,700 were members of the Army’s Kayforce and 1,300 served on six Royal New Zealand Navy frigates, active around the Korean peninsula. Forty-five New Zealand servicemen, including two naval personnel, died as a result of their service.

"The commemoration will remember the service and sacrifice of these New Zealanders and will also acknowledge the devastating impact of this conflict on the people of Korea," says Neill Atkinson.

"This year’s commemoration coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong, a significant event in which New Zealand gunners played a vital supporting role to Australian and Canadian troops.

"People wishing to attend this year’s commemoration should arrive at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Buckle Street, Wellington on Friday 25 June at 10.45am for an 11.00am start".

This public event is taking place under COVID-19 Alert Level 1 conditions - if attending please follow all relevant guidelines: https://covid19.govt.nz/activities/gatherings-and-events/

More information about the Korean War is featured at: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/korean-war.

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