Korean War Legacy Project

Asefa Werku Kassa


Asefa Werku Kassa served in the Ethiopian military during the Korean War. He was part of the famed Kagnew Battalion, 2nd Battalion, and served as a half lieutenant. Asefa Werku Kassa was born in Gondar, Ethiopia and attended Orthodox Church School. He later became a guard for Haile Selassie. Asefa Werku Kassa was promoted, not because of his name, but because of his skills and talent. In Korea, one engagement with the Chinese left him with a long scar from a knife. He sees Korea as his child, because of the sacrifice of his blood. 

Video Clips

Engaging the Chinese

Asefa Werku Kassa describes an engagement with the Chinese that left a deep scar on his forearm. He was stationed along the frontlines and frequent encounters with Chinese infantry. On one occasion a Chinese soldier gave him a deep gash before another Ethiopian soldier came to his aid. Asefa Werku Kassa eventually shot and killed the Chinese soldier. Also, Ethiopian soldiers never surrendered due to instructions. This was for fear of what the Ethiopian military would do to their families.

Tags: Chinese,Fear,Front lines,POW,Pride

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Korea, like my Baby

Asefa Werku Kassa describes how Korea is like his baby. He sacrificed his blood for the freedom of South Korea. He describes how he would still fight for South Korea. Asefa Werku Kassa wants to revisit to see what his sacrifices look like seventy years later.

Tags: Seoul,Home front,Impressions of Korea,Message to Students,Modern Korea,Pride,South Koreans

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Battle Experience

Asefa Werku Kassa describes his service in Korea. He cannot remember the exact locations of service due to moving around. The mountains and terrain stick out more than anything. Also, he shares an image of his scar from the Chinese military encounter. He also describes how he was in charge of a unit. He would constantly move them from danger, much to the chagrin of his commanders.

Tags: Chinese,Fear,Front lines,Pride

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