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147 South Korean soldiers’ remains repatriated


June 23 (UPI) — The remains of 147 South Korean soldiers from the Korean war were repatriated at a Tuesday ceremony at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

“This, like the past repatriation, is due to the strong and long standing partnership between the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and [South Korea’s] Ministry of National Defense Agency for KIA Recovery and Identification,” said Defense Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency public affairs official Lee Tucker. “It is the incredible improvements in technology, advancements in forensic science and the strong partnership between DPAA and MAKRI which led to these identifications.”

Scientists from both countries’ defense agencies have conducted joint forensic reviews and validated 147 remains as being of South Korean origin, with 77 being from remains North Korea turned over in 55 boxes in July 2018 and the others from remains repatriated in the early 1990s.

The Pentagon describes this week’s repatriation as the largest repatriation of South Korean soldiers’ remains to date.

The soldiers fought along U.S. troops against North Korea in the war, which lasted from 1950 to 1953.

On Thursday there will be a repatriation ceremony in Seoul, hosted by President Moon Jae-in.

That date coincides with the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, which lasted until 1953.

Seven South Korean family members have been identified as having DNA matches to seven of the 147 remains. Those family members will be at the ceremony in Seoul.

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