SEOUL, July 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Veterans Affairs Minister Park Min-shik will attend a ceremony celebrating the completion of a new Korean War memorial monument in Washington D.C. next week, his ministry said Friday.
Park plans to read out President Yoon Suk-yeol's message during Wednesday's event unveiling the Wall of Remembrance, which bears the names of 36,634 U.S. troops and 7,174 members of the Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army who died during the 1950-53 conflict.
The wall, another symbol of the South Korea-U.S. alliance, is the first such monument on U.S. territory, in which the names of South Korean war dead are inscribed in honor of their ultimate sacrifice, according to the ministry.
The South Korean government offered 26.6 billion won (US$20.4 million) for the 27.4 billion-won project to build the wall. Other sponsors include the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation, the Korean Veterans Association and South Korean businesses.
The minister's trip to the U.S. from Sunday through Aug. 1 has been arranged to strengthen the bilateral alliance as the two countries mark the 69th anniversary of the end of the war.
On Sunday, Park also plans to visit the home of retired U.S. Army Col. William E. Weber, a decorated Korean War veteran who died in April. There, he will deliver a nameplate honoring Weber's participation in the war.
The following day, he will visit the veterans' hospital in Washington.
He is then scheduled to visit Hawaii, where he will lay a wreath at a memorial cemetery, and meet with South Korean and U.S. troops that are participating in the ongoing U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific Exercise.
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