Monday, 30 November 2020
Statements by Members
Perth: Korean War Memorial
This month I attended a fundraising dinner in support of the establishment of a Korean war memorial in Perth. The fact that there is not yet a Korean war memorial in Perth is a good example of why this war is often called 'the Forgotten War'. I think we can all agree, especially the families of the 17,000 Australians who fought in Korea, including the 340 who were killed, that no war should be forgotten.
North Korean military forces crossed the border into South Korea on 25 June 1950. The UN Security Council denounced the North Korean invasion and authorised the dispatch of forces to Korea. Twenty-one countries, including Australia, contributed to the UN force. The fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed. The Korean War was amongst the most destructive in our modern era with a larger proportional civilian death toll than either World War II or the Vietnam War.
I commend the Perth Korean War Memorial Committee for helping us honour the service and sacrifice of Australians who fought in Korea. I especially commend the honorary consul for the Republic of Korea in WA, Fay Duda, committee member Peter Heeney and the head fundraiser, James Rhee. Thank you also to Tjorn Sibma MLC and Senator Dean Smith for their support to this important project. The launch of the memorial is planned to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice on 27 July 2023.