S. Korea seeks to repatriate war remains stored in Hawaii

By Yeo Jun-suk
  • Published : Aug 15, 2018 - 18:04
  • Updated : Aug 15, 2018 - 18:04

South Korea is in discussion with the US about repatriating the remains of its soldiers killed during the Korean War, a Defense Ministry official said Wednesday, as the US has informed the government that the bodies are stored at a US government agency in Hawaii.

The official said the Ministry of National Defense was recently notified by the US government that it has about 35 sets of war remains identified as that of South Korean soldiers.

The Defense Ministry will send a forensic team to Hawaii next week for the in-depth identification process, according to the official. Three experts from the Agency for Killed in Action Recovery & Identification will make the trip.

“If the remains are eventually identified (as South Korean soldiers), we will bring them back as promptly as possible with the utmost respect,” Yonhap News Agency quoted an unnamed official as saying.

A US soldier carrying the remain of an American soldier killed during the Korean War. Yonhap

The South Korean war remains in Hawaii are said to have been included in the cases containing US war remains delivered by North Korea since 1990. Between 1990 and 2007, about 400 sets of US war remains were repatriated from North Korea.

According to military officials here, there are about 180 sets of war remains thought to be of Asian origin at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in Hawaii, the US military agency tasked with tracking down prisoners of war and troops missing in action.