Bravery or Futility?
Ominous skies above a monument to the Korean War in Seoul. From 1950 to 1953 the Korean War was brutally fought between North and South Korea. The war involved a United Nations force led by the USA fighting for the South against a Chinese and Soviet Union backed North. Fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when an armistice was signed. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), 35miles (~55km) north of Seoul, to separate North and South Korea. No peace treaty was subsequently signed, and the two Koreas are technically still at war. Periodic clashes, many of which have resulted in casualties, continue to this day.
The shot below was taken of insignia on a Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) F-5 jet fighter. The Northrop F-5A "Freedom Fighter" was a Supersonic fighter used by South Korea in the 1960's to counter the North Korean MiG-19 Supersonic fighter.
This final shot represents a tiny fraction of a stone memorial with all the names of the South Korean lives lost in the Korean War. South Korea lost over 137,899 soldiers with a further 450,742 wounded. In comparison the US lost 36,574 deaths and 103,284 wounded, while the North suffered a staggering loss of life estimated to be between 350,000 to 700,000 people. It is often called "The Forgotten War" or "The Unknown War" because of the lack of public attention it received both during and after the war, and in relation to the global scale of World War II, which preceded it, and the subsequent angst of the Vietnam War, which succeeded it.
I took all the above shots around the grounds of the War Memorial of Korea in Yongsan-dong, Seoul, South Korea. It's a sobering place to walk though especially considering the DMZ is only 35 miles away to the North. I highly recommend it to anyone passing though the area.
So what did everyone think of the US - North Korea summit yesterday in Singapore? Regardless of the politics of the players involved, lets hope it represents a new beginning for a troubled peninsula.
Love Life, Love Photography
All images in this post were taken by and remain the Copyright of Robert Downie - http://www.robertdowniephotography.com - If you would like to learn a little bit more about my background in photography you can read the interview @photofeed did with me here