South Korea holds a ceremony to mark the return of Korean War remains retrieved from North Korea at Seoul Air Base on Armed Forces Day, Oct. 1, 2018. (Ministry of National Defense)
The remains of nearly 147 South Korean soldiers who perished during the Korean War are set to return home this month from the United States, where they were sent from North Korea.
The US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said Thursday that it was returning the “largest volume” of war remains that included Korean soldiers since receiving them from the North in July 2018.
About half of the remains set to come here had come from North Korea at that time, a month after the historic first summit between Washington and Pyongyang.
South Korea plans to hold a homecoming ceremony on June 24 at Seoul Air Base, a day before the anniversary of the breakout of the war, with war veterans from abroad and their families observing the process.
The ceremony will be part of events scheduled here to mark the 70th anniversary of the 1950-53 conflict that ended without a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas still at war. The number of soldiers, their return date and the ceremony venue were still under discussion.
Since 2000, the South Korean government has been extensively excavating battle sites and has recently expanded the project to cover areas including Arrowhead Ridge, a site of fierce battles that now falls inside the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone.
An estimated 135,000 soldiers remain missing.
By Choi Si-young (firstname.lastname@example.org