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“I have lost contact with my father since the Korean War” - Korean War dead returned to the bosom of the family through DNA anal...

Remains of private first class Kim Jong-sul returned to the bosom of his family after 72 years

Eldest son reported to the remains excavation project

Private first class Kim Jong-sul died in the Yeongcheon district, leaving his wife and three sons behind

“I have lost contact with my father since the Kore

Mr. Kim Seok-man, who lives in Nowon-go, Seoul, was reunited with his father for the first time in seventy years, after losing contact with his father during his father's participation in the Korean War. This is attributed to his active participation in DNA sampling conducted by the Ministry of National Defense Agency for KIA Recovery and Identification (MAKRI).


“Having been excavated by MAKRI and the 1st Marine Division soldiers in Yipam-ri, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do in 2012, the remains of this fallen soldier who died in the Korean War were identified as the late private first class Kim Jong-sul. This is the 191st such accomplishment since the launch of the remains excavation work in 2000,” MAKRI said in a statement on May 17.


This identification work started with the information sent from the bereaved family. The family informed MAKRI that the deceased had participated in the Korean war after hearing about the remains excavation project. Mr. Kim Seok-man, eldest son of the deceased, learned about the remains excavation project thanks to the promotional efforts of MAKRI to mark the month of June 2020 as Memorial Month.


Recalling that his late mother’s had said, “your father participated in the Korean War, but we haven’t found his remains,” Kim informed MAKRI of the fact that he is a bereaved family member of a soldier who died in the Korean War. MAKRI sent an investigator to Kim’s house and sampled DNA from him. With the sample that was collected, MAKRI could identify the remains presumed to be the family of the deceased through DNA analysis. MAKRI finally confirmed the father-and-son relation between Kim and the deceased after a close investigation.


The deceased was born in Gimcheon-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do on September 14, 1926, the youngest of three sons. Helping his father run a stationery store, he married the late Jo Il-soon in 1946 and had three sons. After the outbreak of the Korean War, the deceased joined the 1st training camp in Daegu on September 4, 1950, leaving his wife, two baby sons and one unborn son behind.


Participating in the Battle of Yeongcheon as a member of the ROK 8th Infantry Division, the deceased died heroically during a counterattack operation against North Korean troops, MAKRI said in a statement.


MAKRI held the ‘event for the return of a hero of the country’ at Kim Seok-man’s house. The event included an explanation of how the deceased participated in the war and the progress of the remains excavation work, and a box of ‘patriotic spirit.’


“The participation of the public is essential to confirm the identification of the fallen who died in the Korean War. If you have a family member who participated in the Korean War but has yet to be accounted for, you can contact us at MAKRI’s main number, 1577-5625 (Oh! Korean War). I ask you to play your part by providing DNA samples, which is carried out at health centers, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, and military hospitals,” said an official from MAKRI.

By Chae-Mu, Im < >

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