A National Commemorative Service of the 65th anniversary of the start of the Korean War was held at the National War Memorial in Wellington on 25 June. Hon Craig Foss, Minister of Veteran's Affairs, Melissa Lee MP, Chris Hipkins MP, Des Vinten, President of the New Zealand Korean War Veterans Association, Byungnam Park, President of the Wellington Korean Community as well as other representatives from NZDF attended the Service. Ambassador Hae-yong Kim also joined the occasion with members of the Diplomatic Corps including Ambassadors of the U.S., Philippines, Netherlands, Italy, Israel and United Kingdom who participated or gave medical/logistical support in the Korean War.
Following the service, Ambassador Kim hosted a lunch for the veterans. Ambassador Kim expressed his gratitude for the veterans' sacrifice and contribution to the Korean War, and said that their contribution laid the groundwork for today's close Korea-NZ relations.
The veterans thanked Ambassador Kim for the Korean government's continued support for the veterans. They also shared their stories about the War with the members of the Korean community.
Ambassador Kim spoke to Stuff reporter Tom Hunt saying "All the Koreans appreciate what they (veterans) have done. We still believe we owe a lot to all the veterans for what they have done." He also said that his father, who fled North Korea during the war, still misses his family left behind in the north.