New Zealand Embassy Seoul, South Korea
Ambassador Rata presents scholarships to Paeknyong Middle and High School students
On 30 October 2013 Ambassador Patrick Rata accompanied by the Defence Attaché Colonel Jeremy Ramsden and Defence Office Manager Hur Chul, visited the island of Paeknyong to present scholarships to 17 students from Paeknyong Middle and High School. The scholarships, worth a total of KRW 5,000,000, were made possible through donations from New Zealand veterans of the Korean War and Kiwi expats working in Seoul.
New Zealand had six naval ships involved in the Korean War, three of which operated in the waters around the island of Paeknyong-do.
The New Zealand ships helped to ensure security by providing gunfire support and intercepting enemy ships and boats trying to get to the islands. They also escorted ships re-supplying the islands and Korean minesweepers working in the area. Several New Zealand sailors were killed completing this mission.
During the period of the Korean War, the New Zealand ship's sailors formed close bonds with the local people on Paeknyong-do, and today the remaining men from those New Zealand ships keep alive the memory of those bonds through the allocation of scholarships to deserving students of Paeknyong Middle and High School.
The Ambassador also visited the ROK 6th Marine Brigade on the island where he received a briefing from the Commander, Brigadier Cho Dong-taek.
(* More photos are available on the Embassy Facebook page, www.facebook.com/nzembassykorea)