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Koreas Mark 65 Years Since Korean War Began

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North and South Korea are observing the 65th anniversary of the beginning of their 1950s conflict that left millions dead and the two countries permanently divided.

Around 3,000 people, including veterans and government officials, attended a ceremony in the South Korean capital, Seoul, on Thursday to commemorate the anniversary.

South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn lamented the state of national security "remains unstable" on the Korean peninsula, decades after the fighting ended in 1953.

"I hope North Korea will become a responsible member of the international community and work together for peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula," said the prime minister in a speech.

Meanwhile, North Korea observed the occasion by lashing out at the United States. In a statement, the North's National Defense Commission said the world should come together to dismember "the fatty monster U.S. imperialists."

The commission placed the blame on the United States for the Korean War, and said Washington is still trying to wipe out the communist country with a campaign of "isolation, blockade and suffocation."

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when China-backed North Korean forces launched an assault across the 38th parallel. The U.S. and its allies intervened in the conflict on the side of the South.

The fighting, which killed up to three million soldiers and civilians, ended in 1953 with a truce, not a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas in a technical state of war.