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National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day is observed each year on July 27th. It is a time to remember as many as 50,000 American troops who died in the conflict (official sources vary on the actual number), and over 100,000 wounded, and thousands of prisoners of war.


The National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day will be observed on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022.


Each year, the President of the United States issues a proclamation announcing July 27th as a day of national observance in honor of Korean War veterans and their families. There are observances of this day on military bases, at military cemeteries such as Arlington National Cemetery, and more informal

 observances held in America, South Korea, and elsewhere.


Dividing Into North And South Korea


For Korea, the aftermath of World War Two saw the peninsula divided at the 38th parallel into democratic South Korea, and communist/authoritarian North Korea. In 1950, North Korea, then led by Kim Il-sung, invaded South Korea backed by promises of equipment and ammunition from the Soviet Union.


Technically speaking, the Korean War never ended. An armistice was signed at Panmunjom in 1953, returning the nation to its previous status quo; a divided nation broken into North Korea (which maintained its authoritarian rule) and South Korea.

The leadership of North Korea has, on several occasions in the 21st century, announced its refusal to recognize the armistice. 2009, 2010, and 2013 were all years that saw provocation from North Korea in this way.


National Korean War Armistice Day


South Korea is a strategic partner with the United States, and there are many formal observations of July 27th in South Korea. Some involve visits to the Demilitarized Zone which runs for approximately 150 miles along the 38th parallel. South Korean observances of the armistice can, depending on the political climate at the time, be more measured out of a desire to avoid fanning the flames of tension along the DMZ and elsewhere. South Korean leaders have in the past adopted stances such as the “Sunshine Policy” toward the North designed to create an atmosphere more conducive to talks and reconciliation. Such approaches have had mixed results, but there seems to be a desire to continue such policies toward the North in spite of a lack of progress in certain areas.


For both Americans and South Koreans, Armistice Day observances must be done with care on Korean soil as North Korean officials have a reputation of taking exception to perceived insults or slights during diplomatic occasions at or near the DMZ no matter how great or small.

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day