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Canadians in Korea

United Nations Flag over Imjin River, February 1952

On June 25, 1950 the forces of North Korea crossed the 38th Parallel into the Republic of Korea. This marked the beginning of hostilities which were to rage for three full years and more, throughout that country known to its people as the Land of the Morning Calm. The magnitude of the assault made it clear that this was a full-scale invasion.

This was the first open act of aggression since the establishment of the United Nations Organization and its actions were of great significance for its prestige and credibility - in fact for its very future. The invasion was declared a breach of the peace, and 16 member nations joined forces to resist the aggression.

Canada's contribution, exceeded only by that of the United States and Great Britain, demonstrated her willingness to uphold the United Nations ideals and to take up arms in support of peace and freedom. All told, 26,791 Canadians served in the Korean War and approximately 7,000 continued to serve in the theatre between the cease-fire and the end of 1955. The names of 516 Canadian dead are inscribed in the Korea Book of Remembrance.

Canadian participation in these hostilities marked a break with traditional policy. It was the beginning of a new era of involvement in world affairs which saw Canadian troops deployed around the world in truce teams, peace commissions and emergency forces. A new page in Canada's proud military history was written.

This book is dedicated to those Canadians who served - in the mountains and rice paddies, on the sea and in the air - to halt aggression and maintain world peace.


© Minister of Supply and Services Canada 1990.
Catalogue No. V32-30/1982 ISBN 0-662-52115-3

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