Despite strained relations, locals long for united Korea

Despite strained relations, locals long for united Korea

Pyonyang and Seoul technically remain at war as conflict ended with truce on July 27, 1953, but not a peace treaty

By Mehmet Sah Yilmaz

SEOUL (AA) - Despite strained relations between Seoul and Pyongyang, locals still long for a united Korea.

Thursday marked 70 years to the end of the Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950. The two sides are technically still at war because, even though the conflict ended in an armistice deal on July 27, 1953, the two nations did not sign a peace treaty.

Um Taek-gu, 86, who was born in Kosong County, southeastern North Korea, escaped to South Korea with his family during the war.

Speaking to Anadolu, Um said he would return to his home town and see his friends and relatives when the two Koreas reunite.

He added that he missed his birthplace, and wished for peace in the Korean Peninsula.

Choi In-seo, 76, was also born in Kosong. He only remembers fleeing to the South at a young age with his family during the armed conflict. According to him, unification is impossible, even though he wants to see “One Korea with all my heart and soul.”

“I am over 70 years old; I don’t think I can see this dream being realized,” he added.

Jang Yong-woo, director of the Korean War Veterans Association, said Koreans see Türkiye as a “blood brother” because of Turkish soldiers’ participation in the Korean War.

Turkish forces served under the UN command during the Korean War, and as many as 774 troops died.

Jang said they launched a campaign and delivered aid to the Turkish Embassy in Seoul after the Feb. 6 earthquakes in Türkiye, which killed more than 50,000 people.

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