In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, meets with visiting Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao in Pyongyang, North Korea on Thursday, July 25, 2013. Li is in the city for Korean War commemorations following a period of strained relations between the communist neighbors. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhang Li) NO SALES
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Two decorated U.S. war veterans who survived one of the worst battles of the Korean War found themselves among former foes at a memorial ceremony as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un launched the country’s commemoration of the war’s end 60 years ago.
It’s unusual for American veterans to attend official events surrounding the July 27 war anniversary in North Korea, called “Victory Day” here. The veterans are in North Korea on a mission to find the remains of a fellow aviator killed in the war, and were given little notice about the event.
Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil a new cemetery for war veterans was brief and solemn, with no speeches. Soldiers stood at guard as a military band played the national anthem. Kim, dressed in a dark blue Mao suit, saluted and left a basket of flowers bearing a banner with his name before the memorial.
The Korean War, pitting North Korean and Chinese troops against U.S.-led United Nations and South Korean forces, ended with an armistice on July 27, 1953. A Login to read more