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South Korean troops stand at attention with flags during a ceremony Tuesday marking the 58th anniversary of the Inchon Landing operation.

South Korean troops stand at attention with flags during a ceremony Tuesday marking the 58th anniversary of the Inchon Landing operation. (Ashley Rowland / S&S)

South Korean troops stand at attention with flags during a ceremony Tuesday marking the 58th anniversary of the Inchon Landing operation.

South Korean troops stand at attention with flags during a ceremony Tuesday marking the 58th anniversary of the Inchon Landing operation. (Ashley Rowland / S&S)

South Korean marines ride a Korean Amphibious Assault Vehicle before participating in the re-enactment of the Inchon Landing operation.

South Korean marines ride a Korean Amphibious Assault Vehicle before participating in the re-enactment of the Inchon Landing operation. (Ashley Rowland / S&S)

South Korean marines hang from a helicopter as it flies past the Dokdo, an amphibious landing ship that hosted military officials watching a re-enactment of the Inchon Landing. The marines were demonstrating a technique for escaping from the water.

South Korean marines hang from a helicopter as it flies past the Dokdo, an amphibious landing ship that hosted military officials watching a re-enactment of the Inchon Landing. The marines were demonstrating a technique for escaping from the water. (Ashley Rowland / S&S)

South Korean marines in amphibious assault vehicles participate in a re-enactment of the Inchon Landing.

South Korean marines in amphibious assault vehicles participate in a re-enactment of the Inchon Landing. (Ashley Rowland / S&S)

Commander Naval Forces Korea, Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, speaks during the ceremony.

Commander Naval Forces Korea, Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, speaks during the ceremony. (Ashley Rowland / S&S)

SEOUL — More than 300 South Korean marines, soldiers and sailors stormed the shores of Wolmi Island on Tuesday to mark the 58th anniversary of the most pivotal military operation of the Korean War.

The Inchon Landing, led by U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, split the communist forces that occupied nearly all of the peninsula and changed the course of the war.

"It was monumentally difficult," said Commander Naval Forces Korea Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, who helped toss a wreath over the side of a South Korean amphibious landing ship and spoke at a commemoration ceremony later in the morning.

This was the first time South Korea re-created the landing. The re-enactment included a 14,000-ton transport ship, South Korea’s biggest Navy vessel; 24 landing vehicles; two hovercraft and six helicopters.

It also included some things not seen during the 1950 landing: marine special reconnaissance divers, and a fly-by in which four marines were suspended from a helicopter. A marine spokesman said the event was meant to showcase South Korea’s military capabilities and remember the past.

South Korea holds ceremonies yearly to mark the Sept. 15 anniversary of the landing, but this year’s event was held on Tuesday because the anniversary falls on Chuseok, one of South Korea’s most important holidays.

Approximately 1,200 spectators attended a ceremony later in the morning on a promenade overlooking the sea.

Stars and Stripes reporter Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this story.


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