Korean War Legacy Project

Kebede Teferi Desta


Kebede Teferi Desta served in the Ethiopian military during the Korean War. He went to Korea as part of the First Kagnew Battalion. He was one of the younger members of the battalion. Due to his age, military leaders held him back from military engagements. Kebede Teferi Desta had to plead to be put into an engagement, which finally did happen. He has revisited Korea since his service. He is happy to see the massive changes that the country has undergone.

Video Clips

Battle Experience

Kebede Teferi Desta describes his battle experience. He was a young kid. The military leaders hesitated to send him into battle. He had to implore the leaders to send him into battle. Eventually, he was sent into battle, where he did not encounter the enemy. Once safe in the bunker, the enemy started firing.

Tags: Chuncheon,Chinese,Communists,Fear,Front lines,Pride

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Arriving in Korea

Kebede Teferi Desta describes his arrival in Korea. He had no previous knowledge or experience with Korea. He was part of the First Kagnew Battalion arriving in 1951. Kebede Teferi Desta describes the situation as bleak for the people. Buildings were destroyed, with lots of destruction overall.

Tags: Busan,Chuncheon,Civilians,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Physical destruction,Poverty,Prior knowledge of Korea,South Koreans

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Korean Transformation

Kebede Teferi Desta describes the worst and best parts of his Korean War experience. He has since revisited Korea. Korea has undergone a complete transformation. He describes the large train stations and road network. Overall, he is happy about the transformation.

Tags: Chuncheon,Seoul,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Message to Students,Modern Korea,Pride

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