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Kim Jong Un honors North Korea war veterans

July 25, 2013 at 9:29 AM
| License Photo

PYONGYANG, North Korea, July 25 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un cut a red ribbon opening a veterans' cemetery Thursday in observance of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

Thousands of North Koreans, some elderly veterans of the three-year conflict, applauded and cheered as the reclusive leader inaugurated the Fatherland Liberation War Martyrs Cemetery, CNN reported.

Kim did not speak during his rare public appearance and left after stopping by several graves.

U.S. Medal of Honor recipient Thomas Hudner, 88, a former Navy pilot, was one of two decorated U.S. veterans invited to attend the ceremony during his visit to North Korea seeking to find the site where his wingman, Jesse Brown, crash-landed, Voice of America said.

Hudner said he hopes to return to North Korea in September to search for Brown's remains. Flooding blocked his effort to reach the Chosin Reservoir battle site this week.

Saturday marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended three years of fighting on the Korean peninsula, but no peace treaty officially ending the conflict was ever signed.

North Korea considers the war a decisive victory over U.S. and South Korean forces, and invited foreign visitors to attend this week's anniversary celebrations, CNN said.

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