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Two versions of the significance of 27 July

First, a press release from the White House, issued on 24 July:

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, 2009

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Official portrait of Barack ObamaFifty-six years after the signing of the Military Armistice Agreement at Panmunjom, Americans remain grateful for the courage and sacrifice of our Korean War veterans. More than 600,000 United States and allied combatants lost their lives in Korea during the 3 years of bitter warfare that ended on July 27, 1953. Many were also injured, taken as prisoners of war, and missing in action. These dedicated servicemen and women, under the banner of the United Nations, fought to secure the blessings of freedom and democracy on the Korean Peninsula, and they deserve our unending respect and gratitude.

Every day we are reminded of the selfless service of these veterans. The Korean War Veterans Memorial stands in our Nation’s Capital as an enduring tribute to them. Marching among juniper bushes and rows of granite, Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen silently remind all who glimpse their faces of the great challenges that so many Americans overcame. The strong partnership between the United States and the Republic of Korea is also a proud testament to our men and women in uniform.

Today we remember and honor the valor of Korean War veterans and the extraordinary sacrifices that they and their families made in the cause of peace.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 27, 2009, as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor and give thanks to our distinguished Korean War veterans. I also ask Federal departments and agencies and interested groups, organizations, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff on July 27, 2009, in memory of the Americans who died as a result of their service in Korea.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


And a counter-historical release from the KCNA:

War Victory Day Observed

July 27. 2009 Juche 98

Kim Jong-ilPyongyang, July 27 (KCNA) — Newspapers Monday editorially observe the 56th anniversary of the Korean people’s victory in the Fatherland Liberation War.

July 27, Juche 42 (1953), is the day when the army and the people of the DPRK defeated the U.S. imperialists in the war and honorably defended the sovereignty of the Republic under the distinguished leadership of President Kim Il Sung.

Rodong Sinmun in an editorial stresses that the victory in the war was a precious result of the President’s unique military idea and tactics and the single-minded unity of the leader, the army and the people.

The President led the hard-fought war to victory, thus saving the destiny of the Korean nation and bringing about the bright future for the building of a prosperous and powerful nation and the socialist cause, and this immortal feat of his will shine brilliantly for all ages, it says, and goes on:

Over half century has passed after the ceasefire in this land. In those days the army and the people of the DPRK have deeply felt the high national honor of being blessed with the illustrious leaders and commanders generation after generation and the invincibility of the revolutionary cause of Songun. They are also a proud course in which the Korean army and people have steadily glorified the great war victory feats while creating an immortal epic of heroism in the anti-imperialist and anti-U.S. struggle with the invincible military strength.

Under the leadership of Kim Jong Il, a new historic era was opened for realizing the cause of modeling the entire army on the Juche idea and our country could always emerge victorious in the fierce confrontation with imperialism in every period of revolution.

The Korean people succeeded in launch of satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 and second nuclear test and are now dynamically advancing towards to the eminence of a great prosperous and powerful socialist nation of Juche by effecting a new great revolutionary surge. This grandiose reality is a vivid expression of the invincible might of the DPRK invariably advancing along the road of independence and justice.

It is high pride and honor of the Korean army and people to have fully demonstrated the dignity and honor of the powerful socialist country century after century, holding the illustrious commanders of Mt. Paektu in high esteem.

Minju Joson in its editorial stresses that no force on earth can stop the revolutionary advance of the Korean army and people who are working hard to accomplish the revolutionary cause of Juche under the Songun leadership of Kim Jong Il, holding Kim Il Sung in high esteem as the eternal sun of Juche.

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