PAJU, South Korea, April 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Commonwealth nations on Saturday marked the 60th anniversary of a pivotal battle during the 1950-53 Korean War, in a stirring tribute to the sacrifices of their soldiers.
The Battle of the Imjin River took place in April 1951 when Chinese troops attacked U.N.-led forces on the river, north of Seoul, in an attempt to recapture the capital. British troops of the Gloucestershire Regiment held off the Chinese offensive for the three-day battle, which remains one of the bloodiest battles fought by British forces since World War II.
About 200 military leaders from South Korea and the four Commonwealth nations, including British Defense Procurement Minister Peter Luff and South Korean Minister of Veterans Affairs Park Seung-choon, attended the ceremony marking the battle.
In a statement read by the South Korean Army chief, Gen. Kim Sang-ki, President Lee Myung-bak thanked to representatives of the nations and paid tribute to their fallen soldiers.
"I will repay the sacrifices of all soldiers who fought (during the Korean War) by ensuring peace permanently on the Korean Peninsula," Lee said.
The Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950 when tank-led North Korean troops invaded South Korea. China entered the war five months later. The U.S. and 20 other allied countries fought on the side of South Korea under the U.N. flag.