WASHINGTON (Yonhap News) ― The remains of another American soldier killed in the Korean War have been identified, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
“The remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “Army Cpl. Primo C. Carnabuci of Old Saybrook, Connecticut, will be buried May 12 in his hometown.”
The identification came after U.S. President Barack Obama last week awarded the nation’s highest medal posthumously to two American soldiers who fought in the Korean War.
The awardees of the Medal of Honor are Pfc. Anthony T. Kaho’ohanohano and Pfc. Henry Svehla.
More than 36,000 American soldiers were killed and over 8,000 were captured or went missing in the 1950-53 war, in which the U.S. fought alongside South Korea against invading communist North Korean soldiers backed by Chinese.
About 28,000 American soldiers are stationed in South Korea as a legacy of the war, which ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty, which leaves the two Koreas technically at war.
“On Nov. 1, 1950, Carnabuci’s unit, the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, occupied a defensive position along the Kuryong River, near Unsan, North Korea,” the Pentagon said.
“Chinese units attacked the area and forced a withdrawal. Almost 600 men, including Carnabuci, were reported missing or killed in action following the battle.”
His remains were among those recovered in Unsan County, south of the area known as Camel’s Head, in North Korea in 2000 by a joint U.S.-North Korean team.
Forensic doctors have found his DNA matched that of his brother, the Pentagon said. “With this identification, 7,997 service members still remain missing from the conflict.”
U.S. excavation operations in the communist North have been suspended since 2005 because of escalating tension over the North’s nuclear ambitions. At the end of the Korean War, North Korea returned the remains of about 3,000 Americans.
North Korea has threatened to stop returning the remains of American soldiers unless Washington agrees to an early resumption of excavation operations.
Those operations mean money for North Korea, which has been under U.N. economic sanctions for years. Washington paid Pyongyang tens of millions of dollars between 1996 and 2005, when the U.S. recovered remains of 225 American soldiers throughout the North.
Fewer than 90 have been identified so far.
In 2006, the U.S. signed an agreement with China for access to archives that could provide information on American POWs and MIAs.
China is said to have run some of the POW camps in North Korea during the Korean War, when the Chinese fought for its communist ally North Korea.