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Korean War hero Paik Sun-yup dies at 99

All News 00:56 July 11, 2020

SEOUL, July 11 (Yonhap) -- Paik Sun-yup, a famous Korean War hero and South Korea's first four-star general, died Friday at age 99, military officials said.

Born in 1920, Paik graduated from a military academy in Manchuria in 1941 and became an officer of the Manchukuo Imperial Army.

Upon the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, Paik was assigned to lead the 1st Infantry Division. Under his leadership, the division played a critical role in deterring North Korean troops from taking over the entire South in what is known as the Battle of Tabu-dong, one of the fiercest battles of the war.

The following year, he became a two-star general to lead the Army corps. In 1952, he was named the top officer in the Army and became a four-star general the following year, the first in Korean history.

In 1959, he served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then retired from the military in 1960.

After his retirement, the general was appointed ambassador to China in 1960; to France, the Netherlands and Belgium in 1961; and to Canada in 1965. He also served as transportation minister from 1969 to 1971.

In honor of his service, South Korea created the General Paik Sun-yup Award in 2013, which has been awarded to U.S. service members considered to have contributed to the nation's security and the bilateral alliance.

This file photo shows the late Gen. Paik Sun-yup. (Yonhap)


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