World / Asia-Pacific

DPRK blames US for suspension of retrieving American soldiers' remains

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-13 14:10

PYONGYANG -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday rebutted the US accusation of suspending recovery of American soldiers' remains in the country, saying the suspension was due to the US "brigandish hostile policy."

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel blamed the DPRK for the failure to resume unearthing the remains of the American troops killed in the 1950-1953 Korean War when he addressed a commemorative ceremony for POWs and missing persons in action on Sept. 19.

It was the United States that suspended the unearthing of the remains which had been underway in the territory of the DPRK, a spokesman for the Panmunjom mission of the Korean People's Army refuted Hagel's remarks in a statement.

The undesirable consequences were that the remains were left uncared or carried away because of new construction projects, floods or land rezoning, said the statement.

The group responsible for the recovery work had been disbanded by the DPRK for a long time due to the US unilateral measure of suspending the work, pursuant to the US administration's unreasonable and hostile policy to the DPRK, the statement added.

The DPRK and the United States had recovered more than 200 bodies of fallen American soldiers in the DPRK territory in their joint efforts since 1996.

On May 25, 2005, the US Department of Defense announced the suspension of the work due to "security threat" from the DPRK.

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