S. Korean premier vows efforts for Colombian veterans during Korean War
BOGOTA, Colombia, May 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon has vowed continued efforts to honor the sacrifices by Colombian soldiers who fought in the 1950-53 Korean War, including finding the remains of some 60 that have yet to return to their homeland.
Lee made the remarks at a luncheon with 40 war veterans and their surviving families in the Colombian capital Sunday, his office said. He is on a five-day visit to South America till Thursday.
"On our land rests the remains of over 60 war veterans that have yet to return to their home country. We are doing our best to find them at the truce line and bring them to the bosom of their families at the earliest date possible," he said.
Mentioning how South Korean President Moon Jae-in is from a family of war refugees and Lee himself was born during the war, the prime minister expressed appreciation to the Colombians for their sacrifice and alliance.
"With your sacrifices and dedication, the Republic of Korea was able to protect freedom and peace, and achieve (the economic) growth that we have accomplished today," he said. "Because of you, Korea and Colombia have become brothers who shared blood and are cooperating and developing together. We cannot thank you enough."
Colombia was the only South American nation that sent its troops to fight in the Korean War. Of its 5,314 soldiers, 213 died or went missing and 567 were injured.
Lee stressed South Korea's unwavering pursuit for a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and assured it will continue to make every effort to make it happen.
"We yearn for the Korean Peninsula, which was once a flashpoint in Northeast Asia, to be able to send a message of peace to the world," he said. "That will also be a way to reciprocate your commitment."
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