US Sends Remains Of South Korean Service Members Home 70 Years After Korean War

South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images

Nicholas Elias Contributor
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The remains of 147 South Korean service members, who were killed during the Korean War 67 years ago, were returned home Tuesday by the United States.

The service members are returning after joint efforts by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and [South Korea’s] Ministry of National Defense Agency for KIA Recovery and Identification validated the 147 remains as being of South Korean Origin, per the U.S. Department of Defense. (RELATED: ‘We Know This Is An Important Issue’: Rhode Island Will Change Its Name On Documents)

“It is the incredible improvements in technology, advancements in forensic science and the strong partnership between DPAA and MAKRI which led to these identifications,” said DPAA public affairs official Lee Tucker to the Department of Defense. Tucker said that the soldiers fought alongside U.S. troops during the Korean War, of which the 70th anniversary is June 25.

“In Seoul, President Moon [Jae-in] will welcome these remains home in an official ceremony coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the onset of the Korean War,” Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said during the ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbour-Hickam, per Stars and Stripes.

South Korea will also return six sets of recovered remains of U.S. soldiers, per the Department of Defense. 77 of the 147 remains were given to the U.S. by North Korea in 2018 and the other remains were repatriated in the early 1990s, said Tucker. According to the DPAA website, the remains of over 7,800 Americans have still not been accounted for.