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PHL, South Korean remember sacrifice of Pinoy veterans in 1950 Korean War

The Philippines and South Korea on Monday commemorated the sacrifice of over 7,000 Filipino soldiers who were deployed to the Korean War in 1950.

The Korean War started on June 25, 1950 while the two countries marked 70 years of diplomatic relations on June 2.

According to a report by Rida Reyes in GMA News TV's Balitanghali on Tuesday, the Philippines was the first Asian country that sent its combat troops as reinforcements for South Korea in its clash with North Korea.

Surviving Filipino veterans on Monday attended the commemorative ceremonies for their selfless contribution.

"Freedom is not free. Today's Korea will not be enjoying this democracy and economic prosperity without the great sacrifice of the Korean war veterans," said Korean Ambassador H.E. Han Dong-man.

Only around 800 Korean War veterans are still alive up to this day.

One of them is the 96-year-old retired Major Maximo Young who expressed joy over the fruit of their service—the good relationship between the Philippines and South Korea today.

"There's satisfaction of what we have done before, unending 'yun eh. It's bringing back memories, golden memories about the war, about your family, about the surroundings," said Young who also serves as the president of the PEFTOK Veterans Association, Inc.

The South Korean Embassy also provided scholarship grants to the descendants of the war veterans.

The two countries vowed to continue strengthening their bonds in trade and tourism. —Dona Magsino/NB, GMA News