Seoul Resumes Repatriation of Chinese Soldiers' Remains

  • By Kim Jin-myung

    March 21, 2017 12:24

    The Defense Ministry on Monday hosted a ceremonial sendoff for the remains of 28 Chinese soldiers killed during the Korean War at a temporary morgue in Incheon.

    The South Korean government decided to continue repatriating the remains of Chinese soldiers, who fought on the side of North Korea in the 1950-53 war, despite bilateral tensions over Seoul's decision to let the U.S. deploy a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery here.

    The defense attaché from the Chinese Embassy in Seoul and other officials also attended the ceremony. The remains will be handed over at Incheon International Airport on Wednesday.

    The project was launched by ex-President Park Geun-hye when she met her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during her visit to Beijing in June 2013.

    The remains are usually sent back for Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day, which falls on April 4 this year. This year's batch were unearthed from March to November last year and identified through DNA tests.

    Seoul temporarily suspended bilateral talks about their repatriation early last month as Chinese retaliation for the THAAD deployment became conspicuous, sparking fears that no remains would be repatriated this year.

    But the ministry said it decided to continue "based on the humanitarian spirit specified in the Geneva Conventions."

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