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Twenty-year-old war hero returned to the bosom of his family after 70 years

Excavated in 2011, the remains of a soldier have been identified as those of Staff Sergeant Ko Byung-soo

165th identification of the fallen who died in the Korean War

Excavated in 2011, the remains of a soldier have b

A young man twenty years of age who joined the war 70 years ago has finally been returned to the bosom of his family after a long wait.


“The remains of a Korean War soldier, which were excavated by 21st Infantry Division soldiers in Yanggu, Gangwon-do, in June 2011, have been identified as those of the late Staff Sergeant Ko Byung-soo,” the Ministry of National Defense Agency for KIA Recovery & Identification (MAKRI) said in a statement on June 18.


Ko is the 165th Korean War soldier to have been identified since the launch of the remains excavation program in April 2000. Ko was identified through a process of a ‘re-analysis of the data on the regions where a large number of remains had been excavated.’


During this process, data re-analysis was conducted centering on the regions where a large number of remains have been excavated, and an intensive investigation was conducted on the bereaved family of the war dead. Ko’s remains were able to be identified because his family members had registered DNA samples with the government.


Staff Sergeant Ko joined the military in December 1950, and died bravely in the Battle of Mount Baekseok between August 18 and October 1, 1951. One piece of the left shinbone and one piece of cloth were discovered at the site. Ko was the second-born in a family of one son and two daughters, in Jeongnam-myeon, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do, on August 20, 1931. He worked for the US army for a while after the outbreak of the Korean War, taking responsibility for supporting his family as the first-born son after his father’s early death. Hoping to become a hero who defends the homeland in crisis, he decided to join the military at the age of twenty, and was deployed to the front lines after a one-week training.


His little sister Ko Byung-wol shed tears at the news of the discovery of her brother’s remains. “People who did not live through the Korean War will never know the misery of the conflict. We need to remember that this country was guarded by these fallen soldiers, and do our best to maintain a strong national power,” she said.


Meanwhile, the MAKRI said in a statement that it will lay his remains at a national cemetery after discussions with the bereaved family, and hold a ‘ceremony to mark the return of a patriotic hero.’

By Chae-Mu, Im < >

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