Reliving Korea’s Tumultuous History at the Korean War Memorial

There are many museums to see in Korea. In fact, sometimes I feel like it would be an impossible dream to be able to see them all. All kinds of historical museums, art museums, memorials, etc. are found throughout the big cities in Korea as well as the smaller, historical regions like Gyungju, for example.

Amazingly, I was never into museums at all before coming to Korea. I suppose it’s because I felt slightly as if I was on a long-term travelling adventure, so I needed to do some touristy things.

Wait, I AM on a long-term travelling adventure!

Whatever reason, I found myself visiting museums on my free time.

Recently, I’d made some trips up to Seoul to visit some old friends from back in the college days. They were exchange students back then, and we had out own mini-reunion. This just gave me another chance to visit more museums, this time in the K-Pop mecca, Seoul.

One of the museums was the Korean War Memorial. Different from the UN Memorial in Busan which is dedicated to Allied Forces during the Korean Conflict, the Korean War Memorial Focused on Korea’s wartime past.


The Korean War Memorial is unlike any museum you’ll see in Korea. I’m convinced of it.

In addition to the main building there is a hall of names listing all those who perished fighting for freedom and (semi) tranquility on the peninsula.


Most memorable for me were the war machine artifacts outside the museum. There were numerous tanks, aircraft, boats, missiles, and everything in between. It’s such a vivid display and reminder of what war is about and the price that thousands of people paid in this conflict.


Inside the main hall are countless displays and depictions of all aspects of the wars in Korea’s past, not just the Korean Conflict.


It’s difficult for people of my generation and younger to truly appreciate the impact of war. America is involved in many military initiatives around the world, particularly in the Middle East. However, these are far away and reported back to us through the media. Almost like a spectacle of sorts, but nothing that causes any kind of fear or threat to our own safety and security.

It wasn’t too long ago that Korea was literally strewn apart because of the effects of war. Additionally, Korea is constantly reminded of the potentiality of new conflict regularly from the North.

The Korean War Memorial doesn’t just pay homage to the wartime past, but it also serves as a subtle reminder that new threats remain imminent.


The Korean War Memorial is a great visit for anyone. It will help one to better understand the events of the Korean War, and to remember those who gave their lives fighting in it.

One display in particular made me better appreciate my own mother’s past as a North Korean from Wonsan.



I would recommend any visitor or resident go spend a day at the Korean War Memorial and take a trip down war history’s memory lane. You’ll leave with a new (or renewed) respect and perspective for the Republic of Korea.



  1. Oh! Thank you for posting this. I’m super interested in Korean history and hope to see many museums in the future.

    • I was never into museums before, but with all the free time I was able to see many here in Korea. Now I really like museums. This one was really awesome I must say.

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