By Kim Eun-jung
SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Thursday launched a foundation for American veterans who fought in the 1950-53 Korean War to provide support for the surviving veterans and families of the deceased, its founding chairman said.
Rep. Kim Jung-hoon of the ruling Saenuri Party, who leads the National Policy Committee at the National Assembly, was appointed as the inaugural chairman of the Seoul-based US Korean War Veterans Support Foundation.
Kim suggested the establishment of the foundation when he headed a special delegation to attend an event commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice held in Washington D.C. in July 2013.
"I think it's meaningful to support American veterans who played a key role in the U.N. forces," Kim said. "The foundation will further strengthen the S. Korea-U.S. alliance and raise an awareness of true meaning of the Korean War."
A launching ceremony was held at the official residence of Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to Seoul, along with senior foreign affairs and military officials and businessmen of the two nations.
The foundation plans to raise funds from Korean and American companies to provide medical assistance for surviving veterans and career and education support for their relatives.
The foundation will establish the U.S. headquarters and branches in the first half of this year and annually host an event for Korean War veterans in Washington on July 27, on the day when the armistice was signed.
According to U.S. data, about 5,720,000 American soldiers fought during the three-year conflict under the U.N. flag, while 54,246 died and 103,284 were wounded.
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