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 President Park thanks Colombian Korean War veterans

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MesajKonu: President Park thanks Colombian Korean War veterans   Ptsi Nis. 20, 2015 12:37 am

President Park Geun-hye met with Korean War veterans on April 18 during her state visit to Colombia. The event was attended by some 180 Korean War veterans and their descendants.

During the event, President Park expressed her gratitude for the efforts and contributions made by the veterans some 60 years ago to safeguard the "hermit country." The war veterans replied that they thank the Korean government and its people for never forgetting them after such a long time. They expressed their hopes that the bilateral friendship that has continued for over 60 years be passed down to future generations.

During the Korean War, Colombia sent combat forces to Korea. It was the only country from Central or South America to show such support. They sent a battalion of ground forces, along with a frigate. Colombian troops were involved in fierce battles in Inje and Geumseong in Gangwon-do (Gangwon Province), where there were some 213 fatalities and 448 wounded. Many of their descendents showed up at the event on April 18, including Hernando Velez, a navy commander, who is also the son of a Korean War veteran.

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MesajKonu: Geri: President Park thanks Colombian Korean War veterans   Ptsi Nis. 20, 2015 12:40 am


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MesajKonu: Geri: President Park thanks Colombian Korean War veterans   Ptsi Nis. 20, 2015 12:47 am

(Top) Francisco M. Caicedo (second from left), a retired army colonel, receives an autograph from the then Korean president, Park Chung-hee in 1975. (Bottom) Some 40 years later, Caicedo meets with President Park on April 18 to hand her an autobiography about his experiences during the war.

President Park also met with Jesus Maria Novoa Martinez, one of the war veterans. He had earlier sent a letter saying that he wished to visit Korea again at least once during his lifetime. In the letter, he expressed his gratitude to the Korean government and to the Korean people for their continued interest in Colombia, and also for the scholarship his grandson has been receiving. President Park thanked Martinez for his interest in taking such a long trip to visit Korea, across some 962 kilometers, and promised to invite him once again to the country later this year. She also expressed her gratitude that he was able to visit the veterans event in Bogota.

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MesajKonu: Geri: President Park thanks Colombian Korean War veterans   Ptsi Nis. 20, 2015 12:48 am

President Park Geun-hye meets with some 180 Korean War veterans and their descendants in Bogota on April 18.

Francisco M. Caicedo, a retired army colonel, was delighted to meet President Park again after 40 years. In 1975, he was invited by the then Korean government to Cheong Wa Dae, where Park was then acting as first lady of Korea. Remembering those times, he showed her a photo taken during that visit.

Finally, President Park passed along some words of encouragement to the war veterans. She stressed that Korea will always remember and take care of Colombia, and that Korea's gratefulness to the war veterans is as deep as Caicedo's love for Korea.

By Wi Tack-whan, Lee Seung-ah
Photos: Cheong Wa Dae, Yonhap News
Korea.net Staff Writers
whan23@korea.kr

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MesajKonu: Geri: President Park thanks Colombian Korean War veterans   Bugün 12:40 pm

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