Thursday, 25 June 2015

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State


On the 65th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, encouraged Australians to remember those who served in what is often called the ‘forgotten war’.

“Today marks 65 years since the start of the Korean War, a war in which some 18,000 Australians served, including during the post-armistice period, with more than 350 Australians losing their lives and some 1,500 wounded.”

“In addition to fighting a determined enemy, our soldiers, sailors and airmen endured the hardships of extreme weather conditions, fighting in freezing temperatures during winter and in scorching heat in summer,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Our nation fought as part of the United Nations (UN) force defending South Korea against North Korean and later also Chinese forces. It was on this day in 1950 that North Korean forces launched their invasion of the south, crossing the border and advancing toward the South Korean capital of Seoul, which they captured within days.

“Three years of fighting followed as the UN came to the aid of South Korea. Australia’s presence in South Korea carried on into the post-armistice period (1953–57), providing support to a country ravaged by war. With no official peace treaty signed at the conclusion of the fighting on 27 July 1953, the state of war between North and South Korea persists to the present day.”

“Today, we acknowledge the start of the Korean War, including the impact it had on the lives of many Australians, and we pay our respects to those who served and those who lost loved ones,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Media enquiries:

Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203


Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

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