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China identifies remains of Korean War soldiers

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-09-29 20:58
Soldiers escort coffins containing the remains of Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War during a burial ceremony in Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning province, April 4, 2019. Remains of 10 Chinese soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War were reburied Thursday in China after they were returned from the Republic of Korea (ROK). [Photo/Xinhua]

SHENYANG -- China on Sunday identified six Chinese soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War whose remains were reburied in their homeland after being returned from the Republic of Korea (ROK).

It is the first time that the identities of unknown martyrs of the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) were confirmed through DNA technology, according to Wang Shengqi, a researcher with the medical research institute under the Academy of Military Sciences of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

The six martyrs -- Chen Zengji, Fang Hongyou, Hou Yongxin, Ran Xubi, Xu Yuzhong and Zhou Shaowu, were aged between 19 and 31 when they died in battle during the early 1950s.

They are among the 599 soldiers who have been sent back from the ROK and reburied in the cemetery of Korean War martyrs in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province since 2014.

It is technologically challenging to collect DNA samples and perform extraction and analysis work needed for identification as the remains have been buried for a long time and suffered from gradual microbial corrosion, according to experts from the academy.

Relatives of the fallen heroes were invited to a ceremony held Sunday afternoon by the Ministry of Veterans Affairs at the Shenyang cemetery, with more than 200 people, including Korean War veterans attending.

Qian Feng, vice minister of veterans affairs, said in his speech that China and its people will never forget the unknown heroes who sacrificed their lives for the country and were buried in a foreign land.

The Ministry of Veterans Affairs launched an online campaign in April to find the relatives of the martyrs based on 24 personal seals found from more than 1,000 pieces of belongings of the deceased soldiers, including the six recently identified.

During the Korean War, the CPV fought together with the army of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea against the ROK army and U.S.-led UN forces.

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