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Pukeahu hosts National Commemoration Marking 66th Anniversary of Korean War

Media release: 23 June 2016

The public are invited to attend tomorrow’s (Friday 24 June) national commemoration to mark the 66th Anniversary of the start of the Korean War being held in the Hall of Memories at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

The Korean War began on 25 June 1950, when communist North Korean forces crossed the 38th Parallel into South Korea. New Zealand was one of the first countries to answer the United Nations Security Council’s call for combat assistance.

Some 6000 New Zealanders served in Korea between 1950 and 1957; 4700 were members of the army’s Kayforce and 1300 served on the six Royal New Zealand Navy frigates which were active around the Korean peninsula. Forty-five New Zealand servicemen, including two naval personnel, died in Korea and two others died serving with Australian forces.

The official party paying their respects alongside the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior for the 2016 National Commemoration.

The commemoration will be attended by His Excellency Lieutenant General the Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae QSM; His Excellency Hae-yong Kim, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea; Hon Chris Finlayson, Attorney General; Andrew Little, Leader of the Opposition; Des Vinten, Chair of the New Zealand Korean War Veterans Association; and Soon-sook Kim, President of the Korean Association of Wellington.

Des Vinten, Sir Jerry Mateparae and Christopher Finlayson at the 2016 National Commemoration.

People wishing to attend should be at the Hall of Memories, Buckle Street, at 10.45am for an 11.00am start.

More information about the Korean War is on the NZHistory website at:

Updated on 27th June 2016