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Avatar of GI KoreaBy on July 10th, 2013 at 5:18 am

MAKRI Continues Work Recovering Korean War Era Remains

» by in: Korean War

The Korean government continues to do good work recovering remains from the Korean War:

INJE, South Korea, June 25 (Yonhap) – A near-complete human skeleton lies on its side. M-1 ammunition, a copper button and a shaving brush are nearby. The body was buried shallow in a hill in this remote mountainous region, just south of the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas.

This is where a fierce battle during the Korean War took place from June through July in 1951, in which South Korean Marine Corps defeated North Korean soldiers in a late-night ambush.

“The two holes in his head skull look like gunshot wounds, and he may have died from them,” Army Lt. Col. Ju Kyung-duk told a Yonhap News Agency reporter during a visit to a war remains excavation site in Inje, Gangwon Province.

“Judging from the depth of the burial and his posture, it seems that his comrades didn’t have enough time to give him a decent burial during the battle.”

It’s been six years since the former artilleryman transitioned to the Ministry of National Defense’s Agency for Killed in Action Recovery and Identification (MAKRI) to recover war remains and repatriate the bodies of soldiers to their families, many of whom have been waiting over 60 years to hear word about their deceased or missing loved ones.

Starting in 2000, the Army began to mobilize soldiers on a three-year-old mission to find war remains. With widespread public support, the government established an official team in 2007 of Special Forces with expertise in history, forensic science and archeology. MAKRI is made up of all branches of the South Korean military as well as civilian experts, united in the goal to bring back soldiers missing in action.

The agency was modeled after the U.S. special unit named Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), whose mission is to account for Americans listed as prisoners of war (POWs), or missing in action (MIA), from all past wars and conflicts.

MAKRI has been conducting operations nationwide to find the remains of the 130,000 soldiers still unaccounted for out of the 160,000 who are classified as missing or killed during the Korean War. About 8,300 bodies have been recovered since 2000, but only 82 of them were able to be return to their families. The rest of the remains are stored in a laboratory without a name tag.  [Yonhap]

You can read more about MAKRI at the link.

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