South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in paid tribute to the U.S. troops who saved his country, on June 30., by laying a wreath at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The Korean War (1950–1953) is a defining moment in the history of the two Koreas.
Had the U.S. not intervened, as part of a U.N. police force, North Korea would have conquered the south and the nation of South Korea would have ceased to exist.
North Korea was armed and supplied by Communist China and the Soviet Union. The West supported South Korea. While the war has still not officially ended, the two sides signed an armistice in 1953 after fighting had reached a stalemate.
A heavily fortified demilitarized zone separates the two countries.
The South Korean president was joined at the D.C. memorial by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, whose father fought in the Korean War.
President Moon also honored U.S. Marine veterans on Wednesday, June 28, with a visit to a memorial in Quantico, Virginia.
The U.S. provided the overwhelming majority of troops that kept South Korea from falling under communist rule.
U.S. Marines’ actions in the early days of the war also allowed the safe evacuation of Korean civilians, including President Moon’s parents.