Ban pays tribute as anniversary of Korean war is remembered

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
UN Photo/Mark Garten
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Ban pays tribute as anniversary of Korean war is remembered

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today paid glowing tribute to soldiers from 22 countries who fought in the Korean conflict 60 years ago, saying they had helped turn destruction in his native Republic of Korea into democracy and prosperity.

“The United States paid a heavy price for the Korean conflict … But here is what I know. You helped turn destruction into democracy. Out of rubble came an economic power. Out of tragedy emerged a free democratic society,” Mr. Ban said at a function in New York to mark the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean war.

“That is your gift and your legacy. As we grow older, it grows stronger. And the Korean people and Government have become very strong,” said the Secretary-General, who was six years old when the war broke out and was forced to flee his home with his grandparents until UN forces, led by US soldiers and troops from 21 other UN Member States, came to assist.

The Secretary-General told the veterans in attendance at today’s memorial service that they had helped restore hope among the Korean people, saying that whenever he travelled to war zones around the world, his wish is always that “every young girl or boy deserves – hope… possibility… wonder… and peace and security.”