The United States has sent the remains of 147 South Korean service members home 70 years after the start of the Korean War, reports Stars And Stripes.
The Defense Department made the announcement Tuesday.
It’s the largest repatriation of South Korean soldiers’ remains from the Korean War, where South Korean soldiers fought alongside U.S. troops. Seventy-seven of the soldiers are from the remains turned over by North Korea in July 2018.
South Korean officials have already identified six of the 147 remains.
“This, like the past repatriation, is due to the strong and long-standing partnership between the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and [South Korea’s] Ministry of National Defense Agency for KIA Recovery and Identification,” Defense Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency public affairs official Lee Tucker said Tuesday in a press release. “It is the incredible improvements in technology, advancements in forensic science and the strong partnership between DPAA and MAKRI which led to these identifications.”
The DOD held a repatriation ceremony for the service members at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii on Tuesday.
“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.
The conflict, which lasted from 1950-53, was one in which “South Koreans and Americans fought bravely side by side to defend the values embodied in the established rules-based international order, which was then in its very infancy,” Davidson said.