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The Seoul National Cemetery (Hanja 國立서울顯忠院) is located in 210 Memorial Road/Hyeonchungno, Dongjak-dong san 41-2 beonji, Seoul Dongjak-gu, South Korea. When established by presidential decree of Syngman Rhee in 1956, it was the country's only national cemetery. An additional national cemetery was established in 1974 in Daejeon. Both are overseen by the National Memorial Board.
The cemetery is reserved for Korean veterans, including those who died in the Korean independence movement, Korean War, and Vietnam War. The present South Korean Troops who killed in action also interred there. Only one non-Korean person is buried there, the Canadian - Francis William Schofield.
The Seoul National Cemetery is situated on a plot of land measuring approximately 1,430,000 sq km. Entombed here are the remains of 165,000 martyrs and soldiers, police men, and reserve forces who sacrificed themselves for their country. Enshrined within the Memorial Tower are memorial tablets of some 104,000 soldiers who died during the Korean War, but whose bodies were never found along with the remains of some 7,000 unknown soldiers whose bodies were found. The remains of more than 54,000 martyred patriots have been buried in the Burial Plots, which are divided into various sections: graves of soldiers, police officers, meritorious citizens, and key figures of the provisional government. Every year on June 6th (Memorial Day) memorial services and events are held at the Seoul National Cemetery to honor these brave patriots.
Facilities consist of the Memorial Gate, Memorial Tower, Chungseong Fountain Tower, Holy Ground, Photographic Exhibition House, Educational Movie Theater, and Relics Exhibition House. In 1955, the cemetery was established as the National Military Cemetery and then was elevated to the status of National Cemetery ten years later in 1965. In 1996, the managing institution also underwent a name change from "National Cemetery Management Office" to "National Memorial Board."
In August 2005, controversy was stirred by the visit of a North Korean delegation to the cemetery. The delegation was led by Kim Ki-Nam, and numbered 182 officials. The visit not only sparked outrage among those opposed to warmer relations with the North, but also raised fears that a future delegation from the South might be expected to pay their respects to Kim Il-sung in Pyongyang.
The Notable Persons who interred there are:
+ Syngman Rhee - President of Korea - buried 1965
+ Park Chung-hee - President of Korea; father of the current president Park Geun-hye - buried 1979
+ Yook Young-soo - wife of President Park, mother of the current president Park Geun-hye - buried 1974
+ Thomas More Kim Dae-jung - President of Korea - buried 2009
+ Park Tae-joon - Founder of POSCO - buried 2011
The Seoul National Cemetery is near Dongjak Station on KORAIL-Seoul Metro Line 4 or Metro 9 (Station 431/920). Except for some special days, normally, the Seoul National Cemetery allows access to the public.