Korean War Memorial unveiled in London

The South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se had a busy Wednesday last week as part of a three-day visit to the UK.

According to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release, top of the agenda was the first annual Strategic Dialogue meeting between the two countries agreed during President Park’s state visit last year. The inaugural session was a ministerial level meeting with UK Foreign Minister Philip Hammond.

Foreign Ministers Philip Hammond and Yun Byung-se
Foreign Ministers Philip Hammond and Yun Byung-se (photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

At the meeting the two foreign ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on Crisis Cooperation. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release, “By signing the MOU, the two countries institutionalized their cooperative ties built through joint efforts to evacuate their nationals from Libya in August, and laid the groundwork for learning lessons from each other’s systems for protecting their overseas nationals and for working substantially together in the event of a contingency”

On the same day, Minister Yun was also keynote speaker at a Chatham House conference on Security on the Korean Peninsula. His speech is available on the Chatham House website.

Finally, just over a year after the ground-breaking ceremony attended by President Park and Prince William came the official unveiling ceremony of the UK’s National Memorial to those who fought in the Korean War. The UK is the last of the nations who fought with the United Nations to erect such a memorial. At the unveiling ceremony the Queen was represented by the Duke of Gloucester, a regular visitor to Korea, while Minister Yun represented President Park.

Ambassador Lim Sungnam commented in his speech:

Since the groundbreaking last November by President Park Geun-hye during her State Visit to the UK, the Korean Embassy, in close consultation with the BKVA and the Lady R Foundation, has endeavoured to complete this project within a year, together with the Korean businesses and the Korean community in the UK.

Today I am pleased and privileged to announce that our efforts have come to fruition.

This memorial, the last such memorial to be erected in the capital city of those countries that fought in the Korean War, is a solemn reminder that the Korean War will no longer be a forgotten war but will be remembered as a war that brought freedom and democracy to Korea.

Some photos of the event follow, courtesy of the British Monarchy’s Facebook Page and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs twitter account. Those involved in the creation of the memorial were Tony Dyson, architect, Philip Jackson, sculptor and Harry Gray, stone carver. The memorial is in Victoria Embankment gardens, next to the Ministry of Defence.

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