OWL Magazine Korea

UN Memorial Cemetery in Busan

In Busan, you can find the “UN Memorial Cemetery,” which is the world’s only UN cemetery. It is referred to as the “United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea” in English.

Established in 1951, this cemetery serves as a memorial for the UN troops who lost their lives during the Korean War, making it the only UN cemetery in the world.

“UN Memorial Cemetery”

The establishment of the UN Memorial Cemetery dates back to 1951, just one year after the outbreak of the Korean War. In January of that year, the UN Command began the construction of the cemetery.

On November 7, 1955, the South Korean National Assembly proposed to the government to permanently designate the UN Cemetery as a sacred place to commemorate the noble sacrifices of UN troops who fell in Korean territory. The government conveyed the resolution to the UN.

On December 15, 1955, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 977(X), resolving to have the UN permanently manage the cemetery for UN veterans.

In November 1959, the “Agreement between the Republic of Korea and the United Nations for the Establishment and Maintenance of the UN Memorial Cemetery” was signed.

In February 1974, the management responsibilities were delegated from the United Nations Command (UNCURK) to the International Management Committee of the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea (CUNMCK), consisting of 11 countries.

On October 24, 2007, it was designated as Cultural Heritage No. 359.

“Memorial for Fallen Soldiers from 11 Countries”

Although 22 UN member countries participated in the Korean War, soldiers from 11 countries are interred in this memorial. Currently, the 11 countries of origin of the interred soldiers form the management committee, sharing the management budget. It is known that South Korea contributes nearly half of the budget.

Here is a list of the 11 countries and the number of remains interred:

  • UK: 889
  • Turkey: 462
  • Canada: 380
  • Australia: 281
  • Netherlands: 120
  • France: 46
  • USA: 40
  • South Korea: 37
  • New Zealand: 32
  • South Africa: 11
  • Norway: 1
  • Other: 15

The UN Memorial Cemetery in Busan houses the remains of 2,300 UN soldiers who fought bravely from 11 countries, including the British Commonwealth nations, France, Turkey, and the Netherlands. The remains of soldiers from other contributing nations were repatriated to their respective countries. It is estimated that approximately 40,000 UN soldiers lost their lives, including those listed as missing, during the Korean War.

“Getting to the UN Memorial Cemetery”

To reach the park using public transportation, take Busan Metro Line 2. The nearest station is Daeyeon Station, and you can exit through Exit 3.

“A Serene and Solemn Atmosphere at the UN Memorial Cemetery”

Given the solemnity of the location, a serene and solemn atmosphere is maintained. It is advisable to preserve this atmosphere in honor of the fallen heroes. When you explore the site, you can express your gratitude to those who came from afar to sacrifice themselves for the defense of South Korea.

Rather than a tourist attraction, this is a place where you can reflect on Korean history and the horrors of war. It offers an opportunity to contemplate the sacrifices made and the resilience shown during a dark period in history.

While there is no separate admission fee, visitors receive informational materials and a small souvenir upon arrival.

“Visiting the UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea with Descendants of UN Veterans”

This trip to Busan was undertaken with students dispatched from the United States to gain a deeper understanding of the Korean language and culture through a scholarship program. Over the course of two nights and three days, we explored Busan together. Among the scholarship recipients, there was a student who had a grandfather who served as a UN veteran.

As we toured the memorial park, witnessing a student shedding tears, my heart was filled with a mixture of emotions. It was a poignant moment, a reminder of the sacrifices made by these heroes who came from distant lands to defend our country.

Once again, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for South Korea.

“Busan: UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea”

  • Address: 93 UN Pyeonghwa-ro, Nam-gu, Busan 48529
  • Phone: 051-625-0625
  • Operating Hours: (October – April) 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, (May – September) 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Website: Link to Website