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Places In South Korea: The War Memorial of Korea

Basic Information

  • Name: War Memorial of Korea
  • Where: Yongsan District, Seoul, South Korea
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: 0900-1800
  • More Information: War Memorial website

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

War Memorial of Korea Narrative

Just about every time I visit the South Korean capitol city of Seoul I find time to stop by and visit the War Memorial of Korea.  It is one of the best museums I have ever been to and it is so large and full of updated exhibits there is always something new to see when I visit.  During my latest visit to Korea I stopped by once again to check out this great museum located in the Yongsan District of Seoul:

Out side of the War Memorial there are a number of very large statues in commemoration of the people who fought in the Korean War:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

This statue in particular is quite touching because it represents two brothers who met while fighting against each other during the Korean War:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

Also outside there is a very large static display of South Korean military equipment:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

A visitor could spend hours just outside looking at all of the airplanes, tanks an boats on display.  I however was interested in checking out the PKM 357 patrol boat:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

The boat was a replica of the one that was attacked in June 2002 by North Korea along the western maritime Northern Limit Line (NLL) between the two countries:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

This deadly attack was featured in a 2015 blockbuster South Korean movie, Northern Limit Line that I highly recommend people to watch:

Having read so much about the incident and watched the movie it was interesting to see what the ship looked like after the deadly attack.  For example the sailor who manned this gun was killed during the attack and the holes from the bullets that killed him can be seen in the glass:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

It was also interesting to crawl around inside the vessel and see all the bullets holes that penetrated the ship:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

Here are the controls to the ship that the main character in the movie dies controlling while steering the ship out of danger:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

After touring the ship I next walked along the outside corridor to go inside the War Memorial.  Along the way I stopped to pay my respects to the signboards that listed all the South Korean Army personnel who had died fighting in the Korean War:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

Outside the entrance to the War Memorial of Korea all the servicemembers from the United States military and the United Nations countries that were killed during the Korean War are listed as well:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

It is truly amazing to see how many names are listed on these walls and really brings home the human tragedy of the Korean War that cost so many families their loved ones between 1950-1953.

I can remember when I first visited the War Memorial I figured it would be all about the Korean War.  In fact only a small section of the War Memorial is about the Korean War; most of the space in the museum is dedicated to all the other conflicts in Korean history such as the famed “turtle ships” that were used to defeat the Japanese Navy during the The Imjin War, Japan’s Sixteenth-Century Invasion of Korea and Attempt to Conquer China:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

There were also a variety of displays from other historical conflicts through the centuries that Korea was involved in:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

There was also an artillery display that explained how South Korea was one of the first countries to used rockets:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

There was also a very large model that showed the Hwaseong Fortress which is a UNESCO World Heritage site that I visited during my most recent visit to Korea:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

You can read about my visit at the below link:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

I actually hiked the entire 4.5 mile route along the entire fortress wall:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

Besides Korean historical displays the War Memorial of Korea also had displays that depicted the military relations that South Korea has had over the years with other nations such as the British:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

There was of course a display about Korea’s long time military ally the United States:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

There was even a display of their long time regional rival Japan:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

In the section of the War Memorial dedicated to the Korean War there is a really good exhibit that shows the contributions and artifacts from each United Nations member nation that fought in the war.  For example here is the display for New Zealand:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

Here is the display for Australia:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

Here is another display for France:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

Another interesting exhibit in the War Memorial was the one that described Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War which few people realize that South Korea was involved in:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

There was another exhibit on South Korea’s modern day peacekeeping operations around the world:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

One of the more interesting exhibits was the one that depicted North Korea’s various provocations over the years.  The below picture shows some of the weapons and tools used by North Korean commandos during the 1968 Blue House Raid:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

Another display showed what happened during the 1976 DMZ Axe Murder Incident where North Korean soldiers murdered two US military officers:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

This next picture is the display for the 2010 Yeongpyeong Island shelling by North Korea that killed two ROK Marines and two civilians:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

The final exhibit I checked out was one that had various models of some of the new weapon systems that the ROK military has fielded or will be fielding in the coming years:

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

Picture from the War Memorial of Korea

Conclusion

In my opinion a visit to the War Memorial of Korea should be something on everybody’s tour itinerary of Seoul.  This museum is a great way to get quickly oriented to Korea’s long history especially in regards to the Korean War and North Korea’s on going provocations.  Visitors can literally spend all day here checking out the many exhibits.  Best of all is that a visit to the War Memorial of Korea is free.  So definitely check this place if visiting the South Korean capitol of Seoul.

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