Published : 2013-01-17 23:45
Updated : 2013-01-17 23:45
Tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War will be posthumously awarded commemorative medals as South Korea marks 60 years since the end of the conflict, organizers said Thursday.
The first recipients of the medals, made of rusty barbed wire from the tense inter-Korean border, will be the families of 36,000 American soldiers killed in the 1950-53 war, they said.
The Korean war, which started with an invasion by North Korea on June 25, 1950, ended in an armistice three years later. A total of 21 allied countries sent troops to fight against the North Korean invaders under the U.N. flag.
A group of South Korean civic organizations has formed a joint committee to mark the 60th anniversary this year of the end of the war. The awarding of these medals is part of its wide-ranging commemorative programs.
Committee officials said they also plan to award the medal to an estimated 120,000 Korean War veterans from 21 allied countries, including Canada, Thailand, Australia, Britain, France and the Philippines.
The committee said the first batch of medals will be awarded at a commemorative event in New York in April.
The medals have been made in two sizes, each measuring 7 centimeters and 4.5 cm in diameter, respectively, with the smaller one attached to a necklace. They have been engraved with the words, "The Korean War Veterans Memorial," and bear the flags of the nations that fought in the war alongside South Korea.