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Army lays to rest fallen soldier at state cemetery

Defense 10:47 March 26, 2019

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Army on Tuesday held a ceremony at a national cemetery to lay to rest a fallen soldier whose remains were recovered last year in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), where he died during the Korean War in 1953.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Kim Yong-woo led the ceremony for Sgt. Park Jae-gwon at the cemetery in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul. Some 300 people attended it, including the bereaved family, and government and military officials.

Park's remains were retrieved in Arrowhead Ridge, a notorious battle site during the 1950-53 Cold War conflict, in October while the South Korean military conducted a demining operation to pave the way for an inter-Korean project to excavate war remains in the site this year.

Park joined the military in 1952 at age 22. Assigned to the Army's second Infantry Division, he had engaged in key combat operations. Shortly before the end of the conflict, he died in the ridge in Cheorwon.

The Army chief said that his troops will never forget Park's ultimate sacrifice.

"The Army troops will emulate his noble patriotism and sacrifice, and defend the Republic of Korea's peace with strong military power," Gen. Kim said.

There were three major battles against communist forces on Arrowhead Ridge from 1952-53. The remains of more than 200 South Korean soldiers and dozens of U.N. Command forces, such as U.S. and French troops, are thought to be buried there.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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