Arts & Living
Living Legend: 88-Year-old Baek Seon-Yeop
Gen. Baek Gives Lecture on Korean War at COEX Mall
Korean War (1950-53) hero Baek Seon-Yeop gave a special lecture on how the general fought against the North Korean Communists and its alley Chinese volunteers during the fratricidal war on the occasion of the 59th anniversary of the war.In the lecture held at the Auditorium on the COEC Mall in Samsung-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul on June 24, 2009, the 88-year-old retired general talked some 45 minutes about the war under the title of "The Korean War I Experienced and the History of the US-Korea Alliance."Nearly 1,000 filled the Auditorium to listen to his untold stories about the Korean War. The lecture started at 10:45 a.m. on the day. Among the VIP participants were Mayor Maeng,Jung-Ju of Gangnam-gu, and President Lee Hee-Beom of Gang Nam Foundation for Arts & Culture. Lee served as chairman and CEO of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and industrial minister.The lecture was arranged by Gangnam Mayor Maeng Jung-Ju.Mayor Maeng said that he arranged the lecture to remind people particularly young people of the tragedy of the Korean War.
After the lecture Gen. Baek distributed 200 copies of his memoirs "Military and I" he authored recently. In the book he described how then ragtag South Korean military retreated from the relatively well-equipped North Korean invaders, and how the South Korean Army could advance to edge of Yalu River in the border between North Korean and China with the assistance of the UN forces.In the book he also mentioned a lot how the refuges suffered from the war."Military and I" was printed with the support of Mayor Mayor Maeng,Jung-Ju.Born in Gangseo-gun, South Pyongan Province, North Korea on Nov. 23, 1920, Baek graduated from Pyongyang Teacher's College in 1940.In 1941 he graduated from Bongcheon Military Academy run by Imperialist Japan in Manchuria.But, when Korea was liberated from Japan in 1945 he went back to his hometown in North Korea.When North Korea was communized by Kim Il-Sung he crossed the 38th Parallel to come to Seoul, South Korea.It was the outbreak of the Korean War that he seized a chance to play a major role in the South Korean military.At the age of 29 in 1950 he became a major general of the 1st Division of South Korean Army.By the time when the Korean War ended in truce Baek was promoted to general of the army. He became the first general in South Korean military history.In 1960 he retired from the military.From the till 1969 he was sent to the ambassadorial post in such places as Taiwan, France, and Canada.In 1969 he was appointed to the transportation minister.
Since then he has been lecturing all over the places about the military and Korean War.Gen. Baek is regarded as "living legend" by US officers in the history of South Korea-US military alliance.For details or inquiries about the lecture call PR Officer Jang Won-Suk at 2104-1251.
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