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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class: Holidays in South Korea Series on KoreanClass101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Korean holidays and observances. I’m Brandon, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 17: 625, the Day for the Outbreak of the Korean War.
Are you familiar with the Korean War or 한국전쟁 (hanguk-jeon-jaeng)? The Korean War started on June 25th, 1950, and lasted for three years. In South Korea, this date is abbreviated to 육이오 (yugio) meaning “six, two, five.” and today various events are held to remember the Korean War. In this lesson, we’ll learn more about 625 Day on June 25th or 육이오 (yugio.)
Now, before we go into further detail, do you know the answer to this question: after a cease-fire agreement in 1953 between North and South Korea, a barbwire fence was installed in the middle of the Korean peninsula. It's called the Military Demarcation Line or 휴전선(jyujeon-seon). Do you know the other name for the Military Demarcation Line?
If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
As a result of the Korean War, many families were separated on the peninsula. At the time, many people didn't know the war would last so long, so only a small group evacuated from North Korea to the south. However, in the end, with the Korean peninsula split into two separate nations, many people couldn't see their families again. Koreans who can’t see their family members across the border are called "Separated Family," or 이산가족(Isangajok) in Korean. Many of them are older now and haven’t seen their family members for decades.
South Korea wasn't the only one to fight in the Korean War; United Nations soldiers were also involved. Therefore, on June 25th, events with soldiers who fought in the Korean War are held around the world. One of them is the National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day held in Washington, D.C. in the United States. During this event, veterans of the Korean War, U.S. politicians, and the Korean ambassador to the United States reflect on the war.
In Korea on 625 or 육이오(yugio) Day, many people visit the War Memorial of Korea in Yongsan, Seoul. The War Memorial of Korea has many artifacts from the war, and a museum attached to the memorial. In the morning, the official ceremony to commemorate the Korean War is held in front of the War Memorial of Korea. Not only South Korean veterans, but also UN veterans of the Korean War participate in the event. That's why you can see the UN flag alongside the South Korean flag during the event.
Here's our fun fact for the day! Even though North and South Korea remain in a cease-fire status, they have had talks in recent years, and some progress has occurred. For example, they have agreed to allow events that enable the separated families from the North and South Korea to meet again.
Now it’s time to answer our quiz question: what’s another name for the Military Demarcation Line? It’s the 38th Parallel or 삼팔선 (sampalseon) in Korean. The armistice line was drawn on the 38th parallel, so that’s why it shares that name.
Well, listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn a lot?
Do you have a day to commemorate a war in your country?
Please leave us a comment at KoreanClass101.com.
And we'll see you next time!