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MAKRI [Ministry of National Defense Agency for KIA Recovery and Identification] Makes First Identification of Remains of a Non-s...

he Ministry of National Defense Agency for KIA Recovery and Identification (MAKRI) hosted a ceremony to commemorate the return of a fallen hero, the first identified Republic of Korean non-soldier Kim, A-gwi (born in 1911) among those who joined the Korean War, at his son's house on November 23. 

At the ceremony held at the house of his 78-year old son Kim, Hak-mo, located in Sangju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, thirty participants including the chief of MAKRI, the commander of the corps in charge of the area, the mayor of Sangju-si, the chief officer of Sabeol-myeon, and the bereaved family expressed their gratitude for the sacrifice made by the deceased.  

MAKRI delivered a notice of the identification of the deceased in war, a consolation plaque from the Minister of National Defense, the Republic of Korean national flag (Taegeukgi) used to cover his coffin while collecting his body, and some artifacts belonging to him, including a plastic spoon. 

The deceased was a member of the 5009th Unit of the Korea Service Corps (109th regiment of 103rd division) in October 1951. He joined and died in the Battle of Bloody Ridge and the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge.  

This identification is the eighth one made by MAKRI this year, and is the 126th since the first shovels to excavate remains broke ground in 2000. Perhaps more significantly, this is the first successful identification of a non-soldier laborer.

During the Korean War, the Korea Service Corps (KSC) was organized into three divisions and two brigades. They carried out indispensable support missions at the battle site, such as carrying ammunition and supplies including fuel and food to the troops on the front lines, providing porters to evacuate the injured, building up a stronghold, and repairing roads and bridges. As they usually used A-frame carriers for delivery, they came to be called the A Frame Army. About 13,000 laborers were involved until the armistice, and the remains of as many as 8794 of them were identified from 1951 to 1953. 

By Yeong-Sun, Lee < >

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