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The Korean War: The war that shall not be forgotten
Updated: 2022-06-22 17:25:45 KST
The Forgotten War.
That's the how the Korean War is often referred to… outside of Korea.
It's because the war, which took place between 1950 and 1953, is at times overshadowed by the Second World War before it and the Vietnam War after.
And the impression of the Korean War is fading… even in South Korea.
According to a survey taken in 2020 by the Joongang Ilbo newspaper, only one out of seven South Korean teens knew the year that the Korean War started.
Compared to those in older age groups, the figure was significantly lower.
Students say this could be because the war feels too distant for them.

"It doesn't seem that there is much interest in the topic [] From a students' perspective, it seems like something unrelated to us, something only in the books."

Yet there are those who are working hard to make sure the war is not forgotten.
Among them is Park Ok-seon, who served during the Korean War as a nursing officer.
As the current director of the Korean War Veterans Association's Jongno-gu District branch, she regularly helps educate the next generation about the Korean War.

"How difficult was it to restore all the things destroyed during the Korean War? So we shall not start wars, we shall not fight but instead, conduct balanced security education to bring peace to all countries."

Meanwhile, experts say that we should pay attention to HOW we remember the war.

There are tendencies to remember this war differently based on each country's situation rather than how it should be remembered a shared tragedy that should never happen again [] Therefore, HOW we remember the war will play a very important role in our pursuit of peace.

He added that more experience-based education could help.
For example, visits to memorial sites would do more than in-class lectures in preserving the memories of war.

As time goes on, and the Korean War moves further into the past, we need to keep making efforts to ensure the war is not forgotten, but remembered.

Lee Shi-hoo, Arirang News
Reporter : slee@arirang.com