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Governor Kim Kwan-yong, Mayor Baek Seun-ki invite ambassadors to Nakdong River Peace Festival on Sept. 30Governor Kim a closest confidant of President Park

Governor Kim Kwan-yong of the Gyeongsangnam-do Province (power seat province of President Park Geun-hye) and Mayor Bak Seung-ki of the Chilgok County of the Province are inviting the ambassadors and their spouses to the famous Nakdong River Peace Festival on Sept. 30, 2016. The tour is organized by The Korea Post.

Korea’s top star Ms. Chung Young-sook, Mayor Baek Seun-ki of Chilgok County, Governor Kim Kwan-yong of Gyeongsangbuk-do and Ambassador and Mrs. Khamsouay Keodalavong of Laos are seen sixth to tenth from left, foreground, throwing coins into a charity coin pool at the 2015 Nakdong River World Peace Culture Festival.

During the Korean War (1950-3), there was a decisive battle on August 3, 1950 in the Naktong River. If South Korea had lost this battle, then there would have been no more Republic of Korea.
The Battle of Dabudong in the Chilgok County of the Gyeongsanganm-do Province was so important that the Central Government established an enormous memorial museum in the County using a large budget for the Korean people with a hope that there would be no more tragic fratricidal war again on the Korean peninsula.

▲Governor Kim Kwan-yong of Gyeongsangbuk-do and General Paik Sun-yup (ret.) are seen at left and second from left, respectively, front row with Ambassador and Mrs. Khamsouay Keodalavong of Laos and Defense Attache Colonel Betsabet Villegas of Venezuela (8th, 9th and 10th from left, front row).

The Nakdong River World Peace Culture Festival shows a good number of simulation facilities that include a ‘firing range’ game room where the guests could ‘fire a rifle’ at targets (individual enemy soldiers, tanks and even aircraft) with a game rifle.
The second surprise at the Museum is an ‘experience theater,’ a simulator hall, where the guests ‘ride a tank’ and ‘take part’ in a fierce combat destroying enemy tanks and artillery batteries as well as neutralize the enemy soldiers. The seats move up and down and make the guests feel as if they were in an actual combat and personally engaged in fighting.

▲Popular Actress Chung Young-sook (left) poses with Ambassador and Mrs. Khamsouay Keodalavong of Laos (second and third from right) and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post (far right).


Then there is an observatory on the fourth floor of the Memorial building from which the guests can overlook the Nakdong River, including the famous Waegwang Railroad Bridge on the Nakdong River in the Chilgok County which was demolished during the Battle of Dabudong on Aug. 3, 1950 to stop the advance of the North Korean troops and tanks.
Many military experts assert that if the Waegwan Bridge had not been destroyed, the North Korean tanks could have crossed the Nakdong River and might have changed the entire Korean War situation to the disadvantage of the Republic of Korea, the United States and the United Nations Forces. They even conjecture that South Korea could have lost the war, and gone out of existence all together.

▲Brig. Gen. Myint Hein poses in front of an infantry tank

There also is a room where the ROK and US generals made a decision to defend the Nakdong River. They were Maj. Gen. Chung Il-kwon (the then chief of staff of the ROK Army and later the prime minister), Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker of the US Army and Lt. Gen. William F. Dean, who each wrote down ‘Nakdong River’ on a piece of paper, meaning that they unanimously agreed on the importance of defense of the Nakdong River.
The spacious entrance hall of the Memorial has on display a symbolic Helmet with Bullet Holes which has 20 keywords related with the Battle of Dabudong.
The Memorial building consists of four different parts, namely the National Defense Hall, the Combat Experience Hall, the Children’s Peace Experience Hall and the 4D Experience Hall.
The victory of the Battle of Dabudong changed the tide of the Korean War in favor of the ROK and her allied forces and marked the beginning of the defeat of the North Korean forces and the start of the general counter offensive of the ROK, the US and the UN Forces.
The Chilgok County is famous also for rare cultural treasures, which include the Mukheon Jongtaek (Gyeongsangbuk-do Provincial Cultural Property Number 245), which was built in 1670 during the Joseon Dynasty by Mukheon Yi Un-man, a well-known Confucian scholar who wrote Jeungbo Dongguk Munheon Bigo (Expanded Version of References on Korea). The ancient book covers a total of 13 different areas, including geography, etiquette, music, military, criminal law enforcement, farmland, finance, population, education, administration and different tiles of office during the Joseon Dynasty.
Another important property in the Village is the Old House of Hae-eun, the residence of Joseon Dynasty’s Attorney General Yi Won-rok. It was designated as Gyeongangbuk-do Cultural Property Number 178.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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