0 South Korean Massacre Memorial Museum
The South Korean Museum of the Unification War
South Koreans are divided with regard to what happened on July 27, 1950 when the communist North invaded the south. The day became known as “July 27th.”
Two years later, it is significant to South Koreans, and was commemorated with a free concert and carnival in Seonji, one of the city’s two cities, on Thursday. The Unification War was not the result of a Korean War because neither country fought a military conflict against each other.
The festival featured rollercoasters, games and food vendors. Thousands of children playing with wands to predict how far those getting on the rides could go as well as educational information about the soldiers who died fighting for the south.
WHEN AND WHERE?
It is part of a far larger gathering held across the country during June 24-30.
WHERE IS IT AND WHY IS IT SPECIAL?
It is at Bucheon, 11 miles northeast of Seoul. Its main entrance is at the foot of Seoul Tower.
A GEM OF A EXHIBITION:
Its most striking and intriguing piece is devoted to the Chinese Deodar trees. The trees are probably the oldest trees in the world and grow to about 6 or 7 feet in height.
This display is comprised of two original houses, both built in the 1950s, rebuilt after the communists blew them up. The biggest is actually on the ground floor and has been preserved by some anonymous South Korean men who stripped it bare and used it as a military base. They carefully packed away any leftovers.
Some had displayed it for almost 40 years and left it untouched. That includes the display of shredded cloth that had been used as scaffolding for the construction.
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The exhibit itself shows Japanese samurai kneeling over the bodies of 500 or 600 warriors.
SHADES OF THAILAND:
The 17th century Court of Hunnam, near Seoul, was founded in 1300 by King Kongja and Changjuchai Tong. Some famous residents were Buddha, Octavio Paz, and Ngong Shou Yan.
Also the birthplace of South Korean political activist Jimmy Kim Bok-dong and The Chang dynasty, a noble political dynasty of the first part of the 16th century.
THE AGE OF HEROES:
Cultural historians describe the war as the Bicentennial War with the DPRK.
During the war, 87,000 South Korean men were killed, so far as is known.
In South Korea, the war became known as the Liberation War because it was what South Korea hoped would transform the region’s historical past.
What About the North?
Next to the South Korea Museum of the Unification War, an exhibit at the Blue House shows how six North Korean soldiers were killed by South Korean troops.
The soldiers died trying to sneak across the border, according to the exhibit.
The war was often referred to as a “temporary war” that lasted about six months but had a far larger length.
After the war, South Korea signed a peace treaty with the DPRK in 1953.
The museum also shows a rare moment of unification — the last surviving soldier from a 1946 battle with the North stands for the national anthem during the 2000 opening. He had been killed in action but a relative smuggled him across the border during a leg sweep, according to the museum’s website.