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South Korea and U.S. Carry Out Joint Identifications on War Remains: Repatriation Ceremony To Be Held on November 20th


Joint Identifications on War Remains


A U.S. soldier who fought and died for the freedom and peace of the Republic of Korea has been returned home after 67 years. The Ministry of National Defense Agency for KIA Recovery and Identification (MAKRI) said on November 8th, “We conducted a forensic identification with the U.S. Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) on one set of the remains of a U.S. soldier, and the remains were identified. A ceremony to mark the return of the remains will be held on November 20th.” The remains are the 18th remains of a foreign soldier to have been returned home since 2000.


The MAKRI has been conducting joint identification with the DPAA twice to four times a year in South Korea and the U.S. since 2007. John Burd, director of the DPAA Central Identification Laboratory, visited South Korea this time to conduct forensic anthropological analysis (gender, age, cause of death, and race identification) on one set of the remains of a U.S. soldier that were excavated in Yanggu County, Gangwon Province, in October 2017, based on the battle records during the Korean War and the circumstances during excavation. 

 

The remains are believed to be those of a U.S. soldier belonging to the 32nd Regiment of the U.S. 7th Infantry Division, who was killed during the U.N. Forces' second counterattack operations in April 1951, via precise identification and a DNA analysis. The MAKRI and the DPAA discussed the details of repatriation of the remains after the remains were confirmed to be those of a U.S. solder via joint identification.


“The remains will be transferred from the MAKRI to the 8th U.S. Army's center for the spirits of war dead, and a ceremony to commemorate the return of the remains will be held on November 20th,” the MAKRI said. “We will strengthen exchange and cooperation with the DPAA and do our best to ensure a speedy return of the remains of the fallen heroes to their countries and families,” said Jang Yoo-ryang, director of the MAKRI Central Identification Laboratory.

 

 

 

By Su-Yeol, Maeng <guns13@dema.mil.kr >

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