South Korea's defense ministry said Monday it excavated the remains of 320 soldiers killed during the Korean War in the first half, with six of them identified and returned home to their families.
In the excavation that ended early this month, the government sent the remains of 36 Chinese soldiers back to their home country in March and sent the remains of two American soldiers back to the US in exchange for the remains of 15 Korean soldiers in April, the ministry said in a statement.
Photo taken on Aug. 29, the defense ministry's excavation team salutes as the remains of a Korean War soldier is carried down a mountain in Gangwon Province. (Yonhap)
"We are running out of time needed to identify the remains of war dead through genetic testing as their bereaved families are getting older," a ministry official said.
To help identify the remains of war dead, the military secured genetic samples from 2,939 family members in June. It plans to wrap up the second-half excavation in November, the statement said.
The military has excavated the remains of a total of 9,100 fallen soldiers in the 1950-53 war since 2000, with 115 of them identified and returned to their families so far, it said. (Yonhap)