Tuesday, July 24, 2012

South Korea to pay pension to Ethiopian veteran soldiers

(July 24/2012, Addis Ababa)--South Korea announced decision to pay pension to Ethiopian veteran soldiers, who took part in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, South Korean Embassy in Addis Ababa said. In a reception held here on Tuesday to give recognition to the veteran soldiers, Korean Ambassador to Ethiopia, Jong King Kim said his country has decided to pay pension to recognize the sacrifice Ethiopian soldiers paid for the freedom of South Korea.

President Lee Myung-bak, left, talks with , a 79-year-old Korean War veteran, on July 9. / Yonha
He said in addition to the pension South Korea will provide scholarships to 300 family members of the soldiers in the coming three years.According to the Ambassador, South Korea has been preparing a book about the role of Ethiopian soldiers in the fight for freedom during the war.

Ethiopians' Korea War Veterans Association President, Colonel Melese Tessema on his part lauded the government of South Korea for its initiative to pay pension to the soldiers.He also lauded the support provided by South Korea to the various development activities being undertaken in Ethiopia.

Emperor Haile Selassie I sent three successive battalions named the Kagnew Battalion drawn from the 1st Division Imperial Bodyguard during the war as part of the United Nations forces in the Korean War.Altogether, 3,158 Ethiopians served in Kagnew Battalions during the war.

The Kagnews served with great distinction, principally alongside the 7th Infantry Division, and by all accounts (including the enemies) acquitted themselves well in battle.At the conclusion of the war the Ethiopians were the only contingent that had no prisoners to collect from the North Koreans since no Kagnew Soldier ever surrendered.

They had the additional distinctions of having won each of the 238 times they engaged the enemy as aggressors or defenders. They were never bested in battle.
Source: Ethiopian News Agency

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