01/08/2013 02:24 EST | Updated 03/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Veterans Affairs Minister Blaney declares 2013 year of Korean war veteran

OTTAWA - Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney is marking the 60th anniversary of the ceasefire in the Korean War by declaring 2013 the year of the Korean war veteran.

The 1,558 Canadian casualties in the three-year conflict included 516 people who died.

Blaney says in a statement he can think of no better way to honour the more than 26,000 Canadians who came to the aid of South Koreans during the war.

Blaney made the declaration today at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum near Ottawa.

He was joined by Tory Senator Yonah Martin as well as representatives from the Royal Canadian Legion, the Korean Veterans Association of Canada and Korean veterans.

Martin moved to Vancouver from South Korea with her family in 1972.

John Bishop, the national president of the Korean Veterans Association of Canada, calls the Korean War Canada's third bloodiest conflict.

The conflict began in June 1950 when the forces of North Korea crossed into the Republic of Korea. The fighting ended in July 1953 with the signing of the Korean Armistice agreement.

Blaney has also launched "Land of the Morning Calm,'' an interactive website that features Korean war history and archival footage.