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Remains of S. Koreans killed in Korean War, found on N. Korean soil, to return home

All News 11:53 February 16, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Yonhap) -- Eighty sets of remains of South Korean soldiers killed in North Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War will return home from Hawaii this year, officials said Sunday.

The remains were either recovered in joint excavations between the U.S. and North Korea from 1996-2005 or handed over by North Korea to the U.S. following the first summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June 2018.

Seoul and Washington carried out forensic identification on the remains of the presumably Asian troops retrieved by the U.S. from the North in Hawaii, as well as on those returned by the North, and identified the South Koreans, according to the officials.

The U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) plans to return them to South Korea around April, and South Korea will send special military jets to bring them home.

Upon arrival, the defense ministry will carry out a further identification process to send them to their loved ones, the officials added.

So far, Seoul has received dozens of such remains from the U.S. since 2012, with the latest handover -- of 64 sets of remains -- taking place in October 2018.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, in which South Korean, American and other international soldiers fought to repel invading Chinese and North Korean forces.

President Moon Jae-in puts war medals on the remains of 64 South Korean soldiers killed in North Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War on Oct. 1, 2018, Armed Forces Day, after they arrived at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, southeast of Seoul, from Hawaii. The remains were found during a joint excavation project between the United States and North Korea in major Korean War battle zones in the communist state from 1996-2005. (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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