SEOUL, March 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to hold a memorial lighting event later this week to honor 55 troops who died while defending the western inter-Korean sea border from 2002-2010, the veterans affairs ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry will host the nighttime event at the national cemetery in Daejeon, 164 kilometers south of Seoul, on Wednesday, using 55 lights that represent the fallen troops.
The event is designed to remember the troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in an inter-Korean naval skirmish in 2002, as well as North Korea's torpedo attack on the corvette Cheonan and its shelling of the border island of Yeonpyeong in 2010.
The 55 lights will be used to create three large light pillars rising up to the sky at the Daejeon cemetery, the ministry said.
The event will come ahead of the country's West Sea Defense Day on the fourth Friday of March designed to honor the deceased troops.
"The sacrifices made by the 55 heroes of the West Sea will remain as an eternal light in the heart of South Koreans," the ministry said in a statement.
The two Koreas exchanged fire in 2002 near the Northern Limit Line, a de facto maritime border, resulting in the deaths of six South Korean sailors.
In March 2010, the North torpedoed the South Korean warship Cheonan in the sea, killing 46 sailors. In November that year, the North also shelled Yeonpyeong Island, killing two Marines and two civilians.
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