S Korea honours its war dead on 61st Memorial Day

President Moon Jae-in urged South Koreans to embrace a spirit of unity at a speech at a ceremony at the National Cemetery in Seoul in remembrance of the soldiers who fought in the 1950 Korean War.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

On the eve of South Korea's Memorial Day, a man at Seoul's National Cemetery at the gravestone of a family member who died in war. (June 5, 2017)

President Moon Jae-in attended the sixty-first South Korea Memorial Day ceremony on Tuesday to commemorate the men and woman who died during the battle which erupted after the North invaded the South.

During his speech, Moon asked the people to show a spirit of patriotism and unity.

A deadly deja vu

The sixty-first memorial day falls less than a month after Moon's presidential victory, which was expected to end months of political turmoil. South Korea was not only dealing with the impeachment of a president over corruption, but also locking horns with North Korea over nuclear testing.

Seoul says 21 countries sent around two million troops to fight in the 1950-1953 Korean War. Casualty estimates vary. But some one million civilians and combatants are thought to have died in the conflict, which ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty, with neither side able to claim victory.

TRTWorld and agencies