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Remains of S. Korean POW who died in North repatriated

Oct. 5, 2013 - 13:27 By 배현정
The remains of a South Korean prisoner of war (POW) who died in the Northwere returned home, the defense ministry here said Saturday.

The ministry said the remains of Sohn Dong-shik arrived earlier in the day and were sent to the Agency for Killed in Action Recovery & Identification for DNA analysis to confirm his identity.

The transfer of Sohn's remains, who held the rank of sergeant in South Korea's 9th Infantry Division during the Korea War (1950-53), was facilitated by local civic groups such as Dream Makers for North Korea.

Having been contacted by Sohn's daughter who escaped the North and arrived in the South in 2005, local civic groups had arranged for the remains to be brought out of the communist country.

The daughter said she had been trying to retrieve her father's remains because his dying wish was to be buried in his hometown in North Gyeongsang Province.

The ministry, meanwhile, said that it will take about a month to test the DNA to positively identify the remains as belonging to the POW who had been held in the North since the end of the three-year conflict.

It said that once testing is completed and identity is confirmed, the remains will be interred at one of the country's national cemeteries, with the deceased given military tribute.

This repatriation of remains is the second of its kind with another soldier being brought back home in 2004. Besides the aforementioned two, there have been a number of cases involving the cremated remains of South Korean POWs being brought back from the North.

(Yonhap News)