Canadian veterans to join Imjin Classic.
Three Canadian veterans of the 1950-53 Korean War will visit Korea to re-enact an ice hockey game they played during the war.
The event will be held on the Imjin River in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, Friday, in commemoration of the upcoming 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs said Monday.
The three Canadian veterans are Dennis Moore, John Bishop and Claude Charland. The annual hockey match, named the Imjin Classic, has been held since 2013 to honor Canada's participation in the war. The event was launched by the Embassy of Canada to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.
The ministry said this year's event is significant because the Winter Olympics will be held next month. South Korea hosts its first-ever Winter Olympics in the nation's mountainous region of PyeongChang for 17 days starting Feb. 9.
This year, the ministry joined hands with the embassy to express gratitude to Korean War veterans dispatched to Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War.
A group of 26,000 Canadians participated in the inter-Korean military conflict on the side of the United Nations to defend South Korea from North Korean invasion. Canadian veterans played hockey near the border city during the period, as it is the most beloved winter sport in their home country.
"We are pleased to play a part in participating in the meaningful event by inviting the war veterans," an official from the ministry said.
Charland said he is surprised to play hockey again with some of his comrades and expressed gratitude for the invitation.
"I appreciate the Korean government for remembering us," he said ahead of his planned visit to Korea.
The three veterans will arrive in Korea on Wednesday and take part in a series of events to commemorate the sacrifice and commitment of war veterans. Their itinerary includes a visit to the War Memorial here.
The ministry also said it will hold a series of other commemorative events during the Olympics by inviting Korean War veterans from the Netherlands.