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Moon meets with Thai Korean War veterans, awards them medals

Politics 17:39 September 02, 2019

By Lee Chi-dong

BANGKOK, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday commemorated the help and sacrifice of Thai soldiers in defending his country during the Korean War.

He met with six war veterans, including the head of the Thai -- Korean War Veterans Association and several family members on his visit to Bangkok.

"The Republic of Korea was able to guard freedom and peace thanks to the sacrifice and dedication of Thai troops," he told them.

He said Thailand's participation in the 1950-53 conflict has served as a "stepping stone" for Seoul and Bangkok to further solidify bilateral ties.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and first lady Kim Jung-sook (C) meet with a group of Thai Korean War veterans in Bangkok on Sept. 2, 2019. (Yonhap)

Thailand was the first Asian nation to send troops to Korea for the war triggered by North Korea's invasion.

It dispatched a total of 6,326 Army, Navy and Air Force service members. Of them, 129 were killed in action and five remain unaccounted for, with 1,139 others wounded, according to official data.

Moon vowed continued efforts by his government to find the remains of the missing Thai soldiers.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (C) presents a former Thai soldier with an Apostle of Peace Medal on Sept. 2, 2019, for his service during the Korean War. (Yonhap)

He presented the war veterans with Apostle of Peace Medals.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha suggested Moon meet with them. The Thai leader worked as commander of an infantry unit that fought battles in Korea.

Thai troops' victory in the 1953 Battle of Pork Chop Hill is especially well known, as it left 400 Chinese soldiers dead while only about two dozen Thai personnel were killed. It won Thai troops the nickname Little Tigers.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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