British PM commemorates bloody Korean War battle

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Prime Minister David Cameron laid a wreath Thursday at the site of a brutal Korean War battle in which dozens of British troops died, as Britain commemorated its war dead on Remembrance Day.

Ahead of a G20 summit in the South Korean capital, Cameron went to Gloster Valley, at Solma-ri north of Seoul, where British troops were defeated by Chinese forces during the Battle of the Imjin River in 1951.

Some 59 troops died defending the site, while another 34 later died in captivity.

Their actions are thought to have delayed the Chinese advance and meant that allied forces were later able to prevent a direct assault on Seoul.

Cameron laid a wreath of poppies at the memorial -- named after the troops of the 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment who fought there -- and spent a few moments in quiet contemplation.

Speaking later at the start of a meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, Cameron said he had "very much enjoyed" the visit which had offered "a reminder of the very close links between our countries".

US President Barack Obama was scheduled to attend a Veterans Day memorial event on Thursday in Seoul, as Europe and the United States commemorated the end of World War I on November 11, 1918, and their other war dead.

The G20 summit formally gets under way with a dinner later Thursday.

© 2010 AFP

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