South Korea praises Turkey’s help during Korean War
“If [Turkey’s] help didn’t come then, today’s South Korea would not exist. Our nation is always grateful to Turkish people,” Jaesic Park, who also holds the rank of staff colonel in the South Korean navy, told Anadolu Agency.
Park praised Turkey’s support during the Korean War, which started on June 25, 1950 and ended on July 27, 1953, and said it was unforgettable.
The Korean War broke out when North Korea invaded the South in 1950, after a series of clashes along the border. The North was backed by the Soviet Union and China, while South Korea was backed by the UN.
Park added that 40,670 UN soldiers and137, 899 South Korean soldiers lost their lives in the war. Some 508,797 North Korean also lost their lives.
The total casualties, including the dead, injured and missing, amounted to 600,000 people in South Korea, he said.
“Casualties were higher for the other side. Around 1.5 million people were killed or injured in North Korea and in the Chinese army,” Park added.
Turkish troops fourth-largest
Park ranked countries in terms of the number of soldiers sent to the war.
The U.S. topped the list with 1.08 million soldiers, while the U.K. came in second with 56,000 soldiers and Canada followed with 26,791 soldiers.
Park said Turkey joined the war with a total of 21,212 soldiers in four brigades, which puts it at fourth place.
He also said Turkey was the third country in terms of casualties, after the U.S. and the U.K.
According to the records of South Korea’s ministry of patriots and veterans affairs, Turkey lost over 900 soldiers in the war.
He said Turkish soldiers won against China in Kumyanjang-ni. Owing to them, South Korea regained its capital Seoul.
“Only 12 people were killed from Turkish brigade, while 1,995 Chinese soldiers were killed,” Park said.
He added that all Turkish war prisoners returned during the prisoner exchange a month prior to the cease-fire.
“Some 244 people were held hostage from Turkish brigade. They all returned, no one perished,” he added.
He recalled that 462 Turkish soldiers killed during the war were buried in the UN Memorial Cemetery in Busan.
Turkey and South Korea established historic ties then.