Obama Marks 60th Anniversary of Korean War Armistice

WASHINGTON (Los Angeles Times/MCT) -
President Barack Obama gives an address on the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington. Also pictured (L-R:) are Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Navy Admiral James Winnefeld, South Korea’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Jeong Seung-jo, and South Korea special envoy Kim Jung Hun. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
President Barack Obama gives an address on the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington. Also pictured (L-R:) are Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Navy Admiral James Winnefeld, South Korea’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Jeong Seung-jo, and South Korea special envoy Kim Jung Hun. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

The Korean War, often called America’s forgotten war, was commemorated Saturday with a solemn ceremony in Washington to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended combat.

President Barack Obama laid a wreath at the Korean War Veterans Memorial and told a crowd of about 5,000 on the National Mall, “Here in America, no war should ever be forgotten, and no veteran should ever be overlooked.’’

Veterans of the war, including some in their old uniforms, were among those in attendance, along with South Korean officials.

“That war was no tie. Korea was a victory,’’ Obama said, noting South Koreans live in freedom and enjoy a dynamic economy, “in stark contrast to the repression and poverty’’ of North Korea.

Speaking before a “Heroes Remembered” banner, Obama said America’s commitment to South Korea will “never waver.’’

While an armistice was penned July 27, 1953, no formal peace treaty was ever signed, and tensions remain high on the Korean peninsula.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial features 19 seven-foot-tall stainless-steel soldiers in windblown ponchos on patrol.

An effort is under way in Congress to erect a wall at the memorial, similar to the famous wall at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, to call greater attention to the Korean War.