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NEWS | April 28, 2016

South Korea, U.S. repatriate Korean War remains

By USFK Public Affairs

The Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense and United Nations Command held a repatriation ceremony here today, in which 17 sets of remains were repatriated.

ROK Minister of National Defense Han Min-Gu, United Nations Commander Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, and Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Director Michael S. Linnington presided over the ceremony.

Of the 17 sets of remains two belong to soldiers who fought with United Nations Command forces and the remaining sets are believed to belong to Republic of Korea soldiers.

“Today, we pay tribute to the courageous deeds and ultimate sacrifice of the Warriors before us as they prepare for their final journey home,” Scaparrotti said. “As we stand in their shadow, we hope that their return brings a sense of peace and closure to their devoted families.”

The two sets of remains belonging to UNC soldiers were recovered by the Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense Agency for K.I.A. Recovery and Identification in Yanggu, South Korea. The remains were found in an area where elements of the U.S. 9th Infantry Division fought battles in the summer and autumn of 1951.

The remains belonging to Republic of Korean Soldiers were recovered by the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency teams operating in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea between 2000 and 2004. The remains were recovered in several places including Kujang, Unsan, and on the eastern side of the Chosin Reservoir, where the U.S. 2nd and 7th Infantry Divisions engaged the communist forces in North Korea.

After repatriation is complete, each set of remains will be further examined to determine their identity, if possible, and will then be laid to rest.

“[T]this nation has become what the heroism of its defenders, like these that lay before us, have made her. Their sacrifice earned the Republic of Korea an opportunity to forge its destiny and achieve its dreams,” said Gen. Scaparrotti.

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