China to build new site for burial of its war dead from S. Korea

By 정주원
  • Published : Feb 17, 2014 - 11:11
  • Updated : Feb 17, 2014 - 11:35
China has agreed to build a new site at one of its state cemeteries to bury the remains of soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War that are to be repatriated from South Korea late next month, a diplomatic source said Monday.

The Chinese decision, which came after a meeting in Beijing with South Korean officials last month, is aimed at avoiding a potential controversy over the planned burial at the Chinese state cemetery in the northeastern city of Shenyang. The cemetery officially describes the Korean War as "The War to Resist the U.S. and Aid North Korea."

South Korea and China agreed in December last year to return the remains of more than 400 Chinese soldiers buried at a military-controlled cemetery in South Korea's northern city of Paju.

The Chinese view of how the Korean War began remains sensitive in South Korea.

"There could be a difference over 'The War to Resist the U.S. and Aid North Korea' between the two nations. So, our side expressed our stance that a new site at the Shenyang cemetery might be appropriate for the burial of the remains," the Korean diplomatic source said on condition of anonymity.

South Korea and China "eventually compromised" over the issue, with China deciding to build a new site at the cemetery and set up a monument clarifying that the remains repatriated from South Korea, the source said.

The Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950, when tank-led North Korean troops invaded South Korea. The United States and 20 other allied countries fought on the side of South Korea under the United Nations flag, while Chinese soldiers came to help North Korea in the war. The conflict ended in a cease-fire three years later. (Yonhap)