S. Korea to hold large-scale military event on eve of inter-Korean summit

SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Yonhap)
South Korea plans to hold a large-scale military parade to mark the 59th anniversary of the founding of its armed forces Monday, one day before the second-ever inter-Korean summit, amid concerns it may undermine the mood of the rare summit.

The Defense Ministry said Thursday that it has invited more than 3,500 soldiers, their families and other citizens for the Armed Forces Day event to be held on Oct. 1 at Gyeryongdae, a military compound 160km south of Seoul.

"In particular, this year's event will involve 31 former soldiers from the United States, Canada, Turkey, Thailand, Ethiopia, and Australia, who were wounded during their participation in the (1950-53) Korean War," a ministry spokesman said.

Honor guards and military bands are to perform during the two-and-a-half-hour event, the spokesman said.

Twenty three helicopters including the AH-1S Cobra, UH-60 Black Hawk, LYNX, and AH-64 Apache, will fly over the venue, followed by celebratory flights by a fleet of Air Force planes such as T-50 supersonic trainer jet, KF-16, F-4E, F-5, RF-4C, and F-15K fighter jets.

The Armed Forces Day is celebrated annually by the South Korean military, but some progressive activists have called for the military to play down this year's event as it comes on the eve of the start of the three-day inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang.


Read More>>

Yonhap News  (Posted 9/29/07)