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The remains of 64 fallen heroes to return to their homeland

The remains of 64 fallen heroes to return to their homeland

Posted September. 22, 2018 07:36,   

Updated September. 22, 2018 07:36


The remains of 64 South Korean soldiers killed during the Korean War will return to their homeland, marking the 70th Armed Forces Day on October 1.

These remains were excavated during a project to dig up the remains of some 400 American soldiers in South Hamgyong Province and South Pyongan Province jointly carried out by the U.S. and North Korea between 1996 and 2005. The two regions are where the Battle of Changjin Lake took place from November 26 to December 11, 1950.

It was confirmed that the remains, which were sent to the Hawaii-based Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) under the U.S. Department of Defense for identification, are of South Korean soldiers died in the Korean War, the South Korean military said. “Judging by the items found along with the remains, they are believed to be of KATUSA soldiers assigned to a unit within U.S. army.”

The South Korean military is planning to treat the remains with the highest level of courtesy. A team led by South Korean Vice Defense Minister Seo Joo-seok will fly to Hawaii and take the remains aboard a special Air Force transport aircraft. Once the aircraft enters airspace, the F-15K and FA-50 fighter jets will escort the aircraft until it lands on the Seoul Airport in Seongnam, paying respect to the return of fallen heroes. Defense Minister Jeong Kyong-doo will take charge of the ceremony celebrating their return at the Seoul Airport. The military will run a DNA test to confirm‎ the identification of the remains and carry out an additional investigation on the rest of the remains kept by the DPAA.

Since 2012, this is the fourth time for the remains of South Korean soldiers killed in North Korea during the Korean War to have returned. The remains of 28 soldiers have returned so far and five of them have been identified.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com