메인메뉴 바로가기본문으로 바로가기

[The Ties That Bind] Special Ties Binding Ethiopia & Korea

 Features >  Special Ties Binding Ethiopia & Korea
Special Ties Binding Ethiopia & Korea

Ethiopia and Korea may be distant in terms of physical location, yet they share a time-tested friendship. During the Korean War, Ethiopia was the only African country that dispatched ground troops to Korea.

In 1951, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie sent his elite “Kagnew Battalion” to Korea. Emperor Selassie christened the battalion “Kagnew” meaning “to bring order out of chaos.” The Ethiopian soldiers fought 253 battles in Chuncheon, Cheorwon, and other parts of Gangwon Province, claiming victory in each one. Though many soldiers were killed or wounded, none were captured by the enemy. When the Korean War reached a ceasefire through the Korean Armistice Agreement, many of the Ethiopian soldiers collected money—mostly their salaries earned as soldiers—and used it to spend time helping Korean orphans before returning home to Africa.

In 1963, the two countries established diplomatic relations, making this year the 60th anniversary of their formal ties. In May 1968, the City of Chuncheon erected a monument commemorating the sacrifices of the Kagnew Battalion, which was unveiled by Emperor Selassie during his visit to Korea. Later, a monument cherishing the memories of Ethiopian participation in the Korean War was erected in Addis Ababa and an Ethiopia Road was opened in Chuncheon. Should you wish to learn more about how the special ties between Ethiopia and Korea are celebrated in Chuncheon, visit the following link for a related article:

https://www.kf.or.kr/kfNewsletter/mgzinSubViewPage.do?mgzinSn=10701&mgzinSubSn=10739&langTy=ENG

The Memorial Hall for Ethiopian Veterans of the Korean War in Chuncheon


Monument commemorating Ethiopia’s participation in the Korean War in Chuncheon


Students of the Chuncheon Youth Public Diplomacy Corps on a visit to the Memorial Hall for Ethiopian Veterans in the Korean War