Sunday, October 9, 2011

American GI bodies in North Korea

Korean War Memorial in DC
RFA(Radio Free Asia)'s Korean section had this article on the current situation of unearthing American GIs' bodies from Korean War 60 years ago. According to the US Congressional report, many bodies are destroyed beyond the levels of DNA inspection, and many crates had several body remains mixed up so the process of identifying soldiers have become extremely difficult.

Below is a brief translation of the RFA article.

"North Korean sends body remain crates that had up to 7 boxes mixed together"

According to Congressional Research Service, approximately 1,500 bodies have been retrieved out of 7,980 missing American soldiers from the Korean War; however, only 171 bodies have been identified through identification process like DNA identification. Also, when North Korea conducted their own excavation project and sent crates of human remains over to the US during 1990~1994, many crates had multiple human remains mixed together, some up to 7.

CRS turned in a Congressional report to the Senates, which stated that 416 and 451 American bodies were recovered right after the war in North Korea and South Korea, respectively. However, only 13 bodies out of 867 have been identified. In this case, the kind of preservation chemical they used destroyed the DNA evidence greatly.

On the other hand, the bodies retrieved from North Korea during 1990~1994 were relatively preserved pretty well, so 70 have been identified. However, these bodies came in 208 crates, and many of these crates had multiple bodies mixed together, some up to 7 different bodies. Although North Korean handed over 208 crates, CRS is expecting around 450 bodies to identify from them.

This report was made for the talk between the US and North Korea regarding excavation of American soldiers in North Korea on October 18th.

Source : "북 건넨 미군 유해 상자, 7구 섞인 경우도"

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