Scholarship program aims to help UN vets’ offspring

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Scholarship program aims to help UN vets’ offspring

The government is planning to launch a scholarship program for descendants of Korean War veterans from United Nations member nations to recognize their sacrifice in the conflict.

The program, developed as part of the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the war, aims to provide educational assistance to the children of veterans from underdeveloped countries, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs said. World Together, a nongovernmental organization responsible for international relief and development, and the ministry are slated to forge a deal today.

The scholarship fund will be raised with a collection of “pin money” voluntarily donated by officials at central and local governments from their monthly wages.

Last month, some 1.2 million won ($1,050) was gathered from workers at the ministry and the state-run weather agency. That money will be offered first to children of Ethiopian veterans next month. Ethiopia, one of the poorest nations in the world, sent 3,518 troops for the war, which lasted from 1950-53. Among them, 121 were killed in action and 536 were wounded.

At present, only the ministry and the weather watchdog are involved in the program. However, the prime minister’s office, the National Intelligence Service and Seoul Metropolitan government have all expressed their willingness to join the program.

There are as yet no projections as to how much money the program might raise, but organizers did say that each month’s collections will be earmarked separately. The ministry plans to increase the number of beneficiary countries and children according to the amount of collected funds.

By Lee Min-yong []

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