WASHINGTON (July 27, 2013)--President Barack Obama marked the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War Saturday by praising the sacrifice of those Americans who fought against North Korean and Chinese troops.
Mr. Obama spoke Saturday at a commemorative ceremony at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall.
He said that many Korean veterans say that compared with other wars, "theirs was a different kind of homecoming.
Mr. Obama said that unlike World War II, "Korea did not galvanize our country" and veterans did not return to parades.
He said that for many Americans tired of war, "there was it seemed, a desire to forget, to move on."
The president said that Korean veterans "deserve better."
The Korean War armistice was signed 60 years ago Saturday at Panmunjom, ending three years of fighting.
The war started after North Korea invaded the south in June 1950, leading to a United Nations police action in which the U.S. was heavily involved (representing about 90 percent of the U.N. force).
North Korean troops initially met with little resistance, but in mid-September 1950 a U.N. counteroffensive that began with an amphibious landing at Inchon pushed North Korean forces back.
Then China and the Soviet Union intervened (China provided troops and the Soviet Union provided material aid). Chinese and North Korean troops pushed U.N. forces back and the conflict again centered around the 38th parallel, which was established as the boundary between the North and the South at the end of World War II.
Truce negotiations started in July 1951, but dragged on for a frustrating two years, breaking down four times until the agreement was signed.
U.S. losses were placed at more than 54,000 dead and 103.000 wounded.