Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, paid tribute to the some 18,000 Australians who served during the Korean War 1950-1953 and Post Armistice, today on Korean Veterans Day – 27 July.
Senator Ronaldson said Korea was the first conflict to involve the United Nations Force, defending South Korea from a communist North Korean invasion.
“Australian servicemen and women won international respect for their efforts and courage in challenging circumstances during the Korean War,” he said.
“On this international day of commemoration, I encourage all Australians to thank our Korean War veterans for their contribution and continue to honour their service and sacrifice.”
Only five short years after the end of the Second World War, Australian forces were once again called into action as fighting erupted in Korea.
As North Korean forces crossed the border and headed towards Seoul, the UN Security Council took action and support was given by 21 member nations, including Australia, to defend South Korea.
Of the some 18,000 Australians who served in the conflict, tragically more than 1,500 were wounded, 340 killed during the War and a further 16 during the Post Armistice period.
Senator Ronaldson said Korean Veterans Day marks the day the Armistice was signed, which saw an end to the war, following two years of intense negotiations with North Korea.
“In a war that is often labeled the ‘Forgotten War’, I can assure our Korean War veterans that they are very much in our thoughts, and we will continue to acknowledge their efforts each year on Korean Veterans Day,” he said.
Senator Ronaldson said 27 July was also an opportunity to reflect on the great loss to civilian life during the Korean War.
For more information on the Korean War visit the DVA website
Media inquiries: Minister Ronaldson: Robert Hardie 02 6277 7820 or 0418 432 909
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