South Korea was invaded by the North in 1950, the UN then passed a resolution that it should be assisted by other nations to repel the enemy. After some three years of fighting in 1953 a cease fire was agreed to, technically the two are still at war.

Entering the country saw more immigration compliance both going ashore and returning from our tour.

Busan is the second largest city in South Korea with a population of 3.7 million which is about 7% of total population.
The first of which was to the home of the Bokcheon Museum, much of this is built next to the Bokcheon Tumuli Mound.
Investigation into this began in 1969 and includes various types of tombs, such as wooden coffin tomb, wooden chamber tomb, vertical stone lined tomb, jar burials and stone chamber tombs with horizontal entries.
Chronologically single coffin tomb was common from around AD 0 to the early 2nd century. After that the outer coffin/chamber became popular until the 4th century for extra protection of the body. From the 5th century some secondary chambers were added to the primary one. Much of it appears similar to that of ancient Egypt making one wonder if either had ventured to the others country?
Though evidence by carbon dating shows the tombs in South Korea began in the Neolithic period.

Soon after the dissemination of Iron smelting technology initial forms of iron statues began to emerge.

Among the tools found are metal arrow heads, simple tools for farming and the early signs of metal weapons replacing the Bronze one in previous use.
Numerous pottery items also remain many in pristine condition considering their age.
Excavation continues with the expectation of further discoveries indicating early South Korean life.

From here we returned to Japan, more immigration, before returning five days later for our second tour of Busan.

In the center of Busan sits the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea.
Commenced in 1951 for the fallen UN troops in the Korean war.
In February 1974 management was transferred from UNMCK to UNMCK (CUNMCK) consisting of 11 member nations.

Entering one is greeted by a UN soldier on gate duty.
Once inside the atmosphere becomes electric, laid out In such a manner one has never seen before.
16 flag poles each with it's won flag to note the 16 nations that formed the Korean alliance to fight the North.

Well manicured lawns and hedges complete with standard roses specially grown to suit the climate separate the various sections. But done in such a way that is enhances rather than separates the various nations.

Memorial hall exhibits include the UN flag used by the UN command during the war.
Photos and memorabilia exhibited in alphabetical order of the 16 nations that now that participated in the war.
A memorial service hall, a UN forces monument are also part of the cemetery.

An unknown soldiers pathway stretching southwards from the UN Forces Monument.
Each side of the pathway 11 cascades, 11 fountains, 11 pine trees representing the 1 countries that have interned in the UNMCK.

Wall of remembrance records the names of all the UN troops who fell during the war, 40,896 in total.

Interred at the cemetery are some 2,300 souls in total from 11 countries with 15 from unknown ones.

There is a monument to 842 soldiers from Australia, NZ, Canada, South Africa and UK who have no known graves.
One of our party broke down in tears when he found the name on it of his fathers brother, an uncle he had never met. Such is the emotion walking around the grounds builds up in those who enter.

We were then taken to the small chapel where a 12 minuter video is shown.
It begins with Korea as it was at the end of the war, a total mess with people living amongst rubble an the dead.
Slowly as the video moves on it was obvious the people there were moved to tears, I am not ashamed to say I was one.
Then the story of the USA soldier, married only 3 weeks before being sent to war. Killed in action he is one of only 36 USA buried there. Most were taken back to USA.
The video went on to show that his wife never remarried and passed away a couple of years ago. Her ashes were then placed in the ground beside the remains of her husband.

Then the British 'Tommy' who had returned to find his mates, for 30 years he made an annual pilgrimage to give homage to his dead mates. His ashes will also be buried there along side his mates, he has terminal cancer.

Leaving there with a tear still in my eye I reflected on the futility of war, the wreckage it brings, and for what??

For those interested some facts about South Korea.

Busan is the worlds fifth busiest cargo port behind Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Though Korea had never built a cruise ship it is the worlds largest ship building nation .
The minimum wage is US$7 with the average wage being US$52K.
Most live in multi storey condominiums with an average size of 114 square meters. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen/diner and a living room.
Cost varies from US half a million to over one million for one overlooking the water.
There is a Medicare system where the employer and employee both pay 3% of wages into. A 40 hour week is the norm.
Korea is a major importer of raw materials, major exported of vehicles, white goods and electronic goods.

South Korea and Japan, two nations devastated by war but both have, through the resolve and determination of the people, become the economic and manufacturing nations they are.

Such resolve will see UK survive BREXIT