Veterans Change Tune toward North KoreaThe Korean Veterans Association held a rally yesterday at the Chamshil Olympic Stadium in Seoul to voice their support for the just-completed summit and to promote further efforts to reunify the divided peninsula. Veterans gathered at the rally under the slogan, “Rally for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula.”
A statement released by the Korean Veterans Association summed up the purpose of the rally, “We have made one giant stride toward the nation’s reunification. We absolutely endorse the momentous inter-Korean summit and will put our every effort into supporting follow-up measures for the reunification of the peninsula.”
To close the rally, all the members held hands and sang the reunification hymn ‘Our Wish’ to reconfirm their desire to make the nation’s reunification possible.
This year’s theme contrasted sharply with last year’s when the rally focused on censuring North Korea for its provocative invasion of the Northern Limit Line (the maritime boundary separating the two Koreas) and the subsequent naval battle that took place. This year, following the historic summit meeting, the veterans shifted the focus of their meeting away from vitriol and towards their aspirations for reconciliation and eventual reunification. For example, a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War was canceled.
A member of the association commented on this shift, saying, “The general anti-North Korea sentiment of years past arose from people fed up with the unpredictable stance of the North. In particular, the Yellow Sea incident aroused hostility among veterans. However, we have changed the spirit of our rally to celebrate the success of the inter-Korean summit.”
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