Remains of another Korean War soldier identified

SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) — The remains of a soldier killed in the 1950-53 Korean War have been identified through DNA analysis, a decade after they were recovered from a former battle site, the defense ministry said Friday.

The identification of the remains of Ssg. Ko Byung-soo was possible as his family members registered their DNA samples with the government last year, according to ministry.

Ko’s remains were excavated at Mount Baekseok in Yanggu, some 175 kilometers northeast of Seoul, in 2011.

The mountain was one of the strategic points in the eastern region, where more than 500 sets of war remains have been discovered. Until now, 14 of them have been identified.

The late soldier is presumed to have died during a battle in 1951, less than one year after joining the military.

“People who have not lived through the 1950-53 Korean War will never know the misery of the conflict. We need to remember that this country was guarded by the fallen soldiers and do our best to maintain a strong national power,” Ko’s younger sister, Ko Byung-wol, 86, said.

Around 140,000 South Korean troops were killed in action, and some 450,000 others were injured during the three-year war. The number of fallen South Korean troops whose remains have yet to be recovered stands at around 123,000.

The ministry said it will hold a ceremony to mark Ko’s return and lay his remains at a national cemetery.