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Prime Minister Helen Clark and Defence Minister Phil Goff today announced two new medals to recognise New Zealanders who served with the United Nations Command in the Republic of Korea since 1958.
The first medal will recognise service between 1958 and 2000; the second medal will be awarded to those who have served in the Republic of Korea since 2001.
Helen Clark said that the New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Non-Warlike) with clasp ‘Korea 1958-2000’ is to be awarded to the thirteen New Zealand military personnel who served in Korea with the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC) between 1958 and 2000.
“The second medal is the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 for the more than forty New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel who have served in Korea with UNCMAC and the United Nations Command Honour Guard Company since 2001.
“The personnel to be recognised by these medals have worked to maintain military stability between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Approximately half of the people eligible have monitored military activity in the Demilitarised Zone and in other parts of the Korean peninsular where they have investigated alleged violations of the Korean Armistice Agreement. The 23 Honour Guard Company personnel provided personal security for the UNC Commander-in-Chief in 2001 and 2003. The medals will be fitting recognition of these efforts,” Helen Clark said.
Phil Goff said that New Zealanders were first deployed to Korea in 1950 at the start of the Korean War, and large contingents of troops served there until 1957. An existing service medal recognises service between 1950 and 1957.
"New Zealanders who served in Korea between 1958 and 2000 were on a different mission from that of those who served between 1950 and 1957, and as such, it is appropriate that this service is recognised with a distinctive clasp.
“The breadth of the service by NZDF personnel in Korea changed considerably in 2001, when NZDF personnel were deployed to the United Nations Command Honour Guard Company. It is fitting that personnel who have served in Korea since 2001 receive an NZGSM 2002 for this service. The medal is awarded for operational service commenced after 1 January 2000.
"The approval process for both medals and has been completed with the assent of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Governor-General,” Phil Goff said.
“Eligible currently-serving New Zealand Defence Force personnel will be presented with their medals later this year. Eligible ex-military personnel, or their surviving spouse or families of deceased veterans, will be able to apply for their medals,” he said.
More information on the medals awarded for service in Korea can be found on the New Zealand Defence Force medals website: http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz
Enquiries and applications for medals should be made in writing to:
The Medals Office,
Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force,
Private Bag 905,
Upper Hutt 5140.