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Hoping No More Deaths From War

Posted July. 25, 2003 21:32,   


Lying on the “Army Tombs” at the city of Paju, Gyeonggi Province near the demilitarized zone are remains of North Korean soldiers killed by South Korean counterparts during the Korean War.

On July 25th, only two days before the commemoration event for the 50th anniversary of the armistice compact, the tombs were planted with long grasses after some hard rain a few days ago.

At the gate of the graves, a sign saying “Off Limits” was standing. This might be the reason why nearby residents have recognized there only as a public cemetery.

There is no guiding post for the site, which is off some 300 meters from the main road, so it would not be easy to find out the entrance road to the site without a detailed guide from an Army officer.

Right beneath the tomb site is a landing field for helicopters, and right before the first line of the tombs is a concrete sign that reads “First Area for North Korean/Chinese Soldiers”.

The First Area as wide as 900 pyeongs was built in July, 1996 and the Second Area with the same size was established in June, 2000. At the First Area, there are some 158 remains while the Second Area has 25 remains buried.

Most of the tombs were notified as “Anonymous” though, with only some 20 tombs having exact identifications on a small post standing before each grave.

The gravesite is a remnant of the fratricidal war and shows the shuddering history of North Korea`s military provocation.

Among the tombs are tens of North Korean and Chinese soldiers who died from the Korean War, 30 North Korean guerrillas killed during the Presidential Office Raid incidence and other criminalities of minor provocative attacks.

There are some 10 cavities on the ground of the Second Area as if sending out a unwanted message of “Still in War”.

The gravesite was set up to comply with the Geneva Agreement that stipulates even the remains of enemy soldiers should be buried. However, the truth is that North Korea would not admit its provocative action rejecting the remains of people that it sent out.

An army official said, “We are doing some minimum care for the grave from the humanitarian ground. We hope to find out a real road to peace through this tomb site by recognizing miserable outcome caused by North Korea`s provocation.”