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Late Dutch veteran of Korean War to be laid to rest in S. Korea

April 29, 2024 - 21:45 By Yonhap

South Korean honor guards take part in a ceremony marking the arrival of the remains of Ferdinand Titalepta, a late Dutch veteran of the 1950-53 Korean War, at Incheon International Airport, just west of Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)

The remains of a late Dutch veteran of the 1950-53 Korean War arrived in South Korea on Monday in line with his wishes to be buried in the country, Seoul's veterans ministry said.

The ministry held a ceremony to mark Ferdinand Titalepta's return to South Korea at Incheon International Airport, just west of Seoul, following his remains' arrival in the country aboard a plane earlier in the day.

The remains are scheduled to be interred at the UN Memorial Cemetery in Busan, 320 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Thursday.

Titalepta served as part of the Netherlands' Van Heutsz Regiment during the war after he volunteered to serve at the age of 21, the ministry said.

He sustained injuries to his right hip and thigh within a week of deployment but returned to combat and took part in the battle of Mukgok-ri in the final days of the war. Titalepta received a Dutch government medal in 1984 for his service before his death on June 8, 2023, at 90.

The Netherlands is among the 22 countries that sent troops or other forms of support to back South Korea during and right after the three-year conflict, which ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

More than 5,000 Dutch troops were deployed during the war, with 124 being killed, according to the UN memorial cemetery's website. The park is home to 2,327 veterans of the war from 13 countries, including 122 Dutch troops. (Yonhap)