Onder de aandacht: Onze missie in Korea

Nederlanders in Korea.. We weten dat we er zijn geweest maar waarom eigenlijk en hoe zit het? Wist jij dat er twee Nederlandse oorlogsbegraafplaatsen zijn in Korea?
20140706-120652-43612441.jpg In een interview met de Nederlandse ambassadeur in Korea wordt eea duidelijk. Interview is in het Engels. 22juni2013 When the Korean War started in 1950, the Netherlands was not in good shape. The country had been ravaged by the battles of World War II. Still busy with restoration, the country dispatched its army and navy to the Korean Peninsula. From December 1950 to the end of 1953, a total of 5,322 Dutch servicemen bravely fought in various places around Gangwon-do (Gangwon Province) including Daeusan Mountain and Hoengseong and Inje counties in South Korea as well as Pyeonggang County in present-day North Korea. Sixty years ago, the name Korea was unknown in the Netherlands, but they joined the UN Forces to repel the invasion of North Korea. Dutch Ambassador to Korea Paul Menkveld stands in the garden of his official residence in Yongsan District, Seoul (photo: Jeon Han). The Netherlands is the first country in the world to have its ambassador to South Korea serve as ambassador to North Korea at the same time. Korea.net sat down with Ambassador Paul Menkveld in his residence in Yongsan District, Seoul, recently. Q: There is a Dutch War Veteran Monument in Hoengseong County shaped like a windmill. How many Dutch soldiers participated in the Korean War? And what does the participation in the war mean to the Netherlands? A: In 1950, the United Nations called on countries to assist South Korea to repel the attack of North Korea, and the Dutch government responded to that call and sent a battalion and naval ships. In total, 5,322 Dutch soldiers and sailors participated in the war. Now, you mentioned the monument in Hoengseong. It is dedicated to Dutch soldiers who lost their lives during the war. We lost 121 soldiers, with 645 wounded and four missing in action. You asked about the 60th anniversary of the armistice agreement in July, and the 63rd commemoration of the start of the war. We do have a delegation from the Netherlands including the chairman of the association of Korean War veterans in the Netherlands. He's 85 but still very healthy and he's coming here together with his son. And on July 27, the 60th anniversary of the armistice, we will have our Chief of Defence Staff coming for the ceremony. So, we'll all be paying quite a lot of attention to this anniversary in the Netherlands. In the 1950s, the Korean War was not very well known in the Netherlands. We had a battalion here but we were very busy with rebuilding our lives after World War II. At that time, there was no television or Internet, so all the news from 8,000 kilometers away had to come by mail or telegraph. So there was not much news, and the people there were not that interested. Nowadays, it's different. This was the very first UN Peacekeeping Force operation. Since then, there have been many UN operations, and the Netherlands participated in quite a few of them. We had soldiers in Cambodia, Bosnia, and Lebanon. Korea is doing likewise in Lebanon. That has raised much awareness among the public on the UN Peacekeeping Force. In that context, there's more and more attention to what happened 60, 63 years ago in Korea.



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1 Response

  1. Peter Rietdijk schreef:

    Als ik dit lees denk ik gelijk aan mijn Opa. Ik heb zijn medailles en patches en ben super trots nog steeds. Ben zelf ook veteraan maar het blijft apart