Korea’s War Memorial Museum

I finally had my day at the War Memorial of Korea. After months of good intentions and failed plans, my friends and I made it to Seoul to rove the grounds and soak up some history. For those of you in Korea who are thinking of going, you should do it at least once while you’re here.  It’s very nationalistic of course, but it’s really well-laid out and quite insightful if you enjoy history. The museum showcases the Korean War and many other wars that the Republic of Korea Armed Forces have participated in.

The Statue of Brothers monument, depicting a true story of two brothers who fought on opposite sides of the Korean war and reunited by chance on the battlefield.

The Statue of Brothers monument, depicting a true story of two brothers who fought on opposite sides of the Korean war and reunited by chance on the battlefield.

Inside the Two Brother monument, a dedication to all the nations who helped the ROK during the Korean war.

Inside the Two Brother monument, a dedication to all the nations who helped the ROK during the Korean War.

Since the ROK Armed Forces was established in 1948, it has joined many United Nations missions to assist with disaster relief and humanitarian operations all over the world. For example, they sent troops to Angola from 1995-1996, to East Timor from 1999-2004 and are still serving now in Somalia, Lebanon and Liberia. There are also a lot of displays showcasing the UN and countries around the world who supported the nation during its time of war and separation from the north.

The Korean War monument, built to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of the Korean War ceasefire.

The Korean War monument, built to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of the Korean War ceasefire.

A closer look at the Korean War Monument.

A closer look at the Korean War Monument.

The war museum has three floors and a huge display of tanks, missiles and planes outside the grounds.

In front, the KT-1 Woongbi Trainer, used by the Korean military as a training aircraft. Behind, a B-52D Stratofortress Bomber, used by the US for strategic bombing operations.

In front, the KT-1 Woongbi Trainer, used by the Korean military as a training aircraft. Behind, a B-52D Stratofortress Bomber, used by the US for strategic bombing operations.

C-46 Commando, a transport aircraft used during WWII.

A C-46 Commando, a transport aircraft used during WWII.

C-119G "Flying Boxcar" transport aircraft, used to transport troops, equipment and cargo.

A C-119G “Flying Boxcar” transport aircraft, used to transport troops, equipment and cargo.

A K-1 tank, made in Korea for main battle. Designed to move through the mountain and swamp regions of Korea.

A K-1 tank, made in Korea for main battle. Designed to move through the mountain and swamp regions of Korea.

M167 American Vulcan Air Defense System, used to protect USAF warplane and helicopter airfields.

Jon with the M167 American Vulcan Air Defense System, used to protect USAF warplane and helicopter airfields.

ROK army missiles.

ROK army missiles.

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Me next to a military chopper.

The Monument of KIA. Each pillar holds a marble plaque with names engraved of those in the ROK armed forces, police force and UN who died in the wars after the foundation of the ROK.

The Monument of KIA. Each pillar holds a marble plaque with names engraved of those in the ROK armed forces, police force and UN who died in the wars after the foundation of the ROK.

A closer look at the plaques in the Monument of KIA.

A closer look at the plaques in the Monument of KIA.

The first floor has paintings and displays showing the battles Korea fought against Mongol, Japanese and Chinese armies as well as the evolution and development of the Korean military.

A smaller scale reproduction of the famous Turtle Battleship designed by Admiral Yi Sun-Sin during the Imjin War.

A smaller scale reproduction of the famous Turtle Battleship designed by Admiral Yi Sun-Sin during the Imjin War.

A side view of the Turtle Ship. This ship and Admiral Yi Sun-Sin played a big role in the Royal Korean Navy's victory against the Japanese in the battle of Sacheon.

A side view of the Turtle Ship. This ship and Admiral Yi Sun-Sin played a big role in the Royal Korean Navy’s victory against the Japanese in the battle of Sacheon.

Old Korean archery tools: Bows, finger tabs and quivers.

Old Korean archery tools: Bows, finger tabs and quivers.

More quivers and arrows, arrow holders (front-left) and bow holders (front-right).

More quivers and arrows, arrow holders (front-left) and bow holders (front-right).

Old Korean samurai uniform.

An old Japanese samurai uniform.

The second floor has short documentary films playing that cover footage of the major battles Korea has faced since the time of film and television, mostly regarding the Korean War. The second floor also holds a recreation of the signing of the armistice agreement and a couple 4D simulations.

David rollin' in style.

My friend David, stylin’ in an old military jeep.

Yours truly on an M-1939 85mm anti-aircraft gun. This machine was made in the USSR in 1939 and was used by the North Koreans during the Korean war.

Yours truly on an M-1939 85mm anti-aircraft gun. This machine was made in the USSR in 1939 and was used by the North Koreans during the Korean war.

Jon and I in a sidecar motorcycle. Starsky & Hutch or Wallace & Gromit?

Jon and I in a sidecar motorcycle. Starsky & Hutch or Wallace & Gromit?

The third floor has a combat experience room where visitors can get some hands-on learning.  Patrons can check out the F-15K 3D experience room where you get to see what it’s like to board a F-15 fighter jet. There is also the shooting area where visitors can shoot a K-2 rifle. It’s just a simulation, so don’t worry! The rifle shoots air into a target on a screen a few feet away. The manager of the area said it was only for students, but my friend told him I was a student and he was my teacher, so we got to give it a go :)

My friend David and I got to play in the shooting area, where visitors can experience the simulated shooting of a K-2 rifle.

Some artifacts from the ROK Women's Army Corps room, showcasing the foundation and growth of women in service for the ROK armed forces.

Some artifacts from the ROK Women’s Army Corps room, showcasing the foundation and growth of women in service for the ROK Armed Forces.

Female uniforms in Korea over the years.

Female uniforms in Korea over the years.

Small calibre, anti-aircraft, naval, mortar and howitzer ammunition.

Small calibre, anti-aircraft, naval, mortar and howitzer ammunition.

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Explosives and hand grenades.

Explosives and hand grenades.

An ancient uniform and shields of the Korean troops of long ago.

An ancient uniform and shields of the Korean troops of long ago.

Admission is free to the War Memorial of Korea, but donations are welcome. You’ll see several boxes around the first floor where you can donate some won if you like.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30-6pm. The site suggests it takes 3 hours to get through, and I would agree with that. It took our gang 2 and a half hours to mosey around so if you want to take your time and read all the info, you should get there before 3pm.

For subway transport, get off at samgakji station, (line 4 or line 6) and leave through exit 12. You’ll be right around the corner from the museum from that point. I hope you enjoyed this mini-tour as much as I did the real thing!

3 thoughts on “Korea’s War Memorial Museum

  1. This is a beautiful article. The size of the military weapons, planes and tanks seem so intimidating you are too adodable in all these pictures. The story about the two brothers is so sad. Poor guys.

  2. What an excellent tour for the reader of the war museum. Korea has fought long and hard for its independence and has suffered terribly over the centuries, particularly at the hands of the Chinese and Japanese. Getting to shoot on the range as a “student” was creative and it worked. The Vezina BS lives on! By coincidence, I was very nearly in Korea for the War in the Royal Canadian Navy but didn’t get there .Long story. I served elsewhere with the Canadian Army and later the Navy for nearly 20 years. Tell you about it sometime. Lots of memories, some good, some not. Lotsa luv from Nana and myself. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxooooooooooooooooooooo

  3. Wow you put in so much effort into this blog. Excellent job ~~ it was so much fun. We have to make plans to go to the one in suwon one of these days!! Once again good job on the blog :~)

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