25 Apr 2011

Gillard in Korea for Anzac dawn service

3:37 pm on 25 April 2011

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has marked Anzac Day with veterans of the Korean War at a dawn service at a memorial outside Seoul.

Ms Gillard is in Seoul to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong, when Australian and Canadian forces held off an entire Chinese division in rugged terrain north-east of the South Korean capital.

On Sunday night, Ms Gillard announced a new panel would be installed on the Australian National Korean War Memorial in Canberra to remember former prisoners of war and all those who have served in Korea since the armistice.

The ABC reports the panel will also recognise Australian soldiers missing in action during the Korean War whose bodies have not been recovered.

Ms Gillard made the announcement at a special dinner in honour of veterans of the Battle of Kapyong, which has been described as a ''forgotten battle of a forgotten war''.

''No-one who fought, who suffered, who died during those 1000 bloody days, will ever be forgotten,'' she said.

The federal government has announced it will also fund 10 Kapyong commemorative scholarships to encourage Korean students to study in Australia.

Services on the homefront

In Australia, up to 30,000 people attended the Dawn Service in Canberra. There was standing room only at the National War Memorial.

In Sydney, at least 5000 people were at the Martin Place cenotaph for the city's major dawn service.

The ABC reports the crowd was more than 10 people deep around the cenotaph.

Major General David Morrison addressed the service, saying Anzac Day is about celebrating as much as it is about remembrance.

''In promising to remember them, we affirm the future that they have wanted for us,'' he said.

In Melbourne, Afghanistan veteran Warrant Officer Craig Cook told those gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance that Anzac Day is a time to reflect on the pride and pain of war.