Du Nongyi, military attaché at the Chinese Embassy in South Korea, salutes the remains a Chinese People's Volunteer Army soldier who died fighting in the Korean War (1950-53), on Monday in Incheon, South Korea. The remains of 20 Chinese soldiers will be shipped back to China by a People's Liberation Army Air Force jet on Wednesday. (Photo/China News Service)
South Korea will return the remains of 20 Chinese People's Volunteer (CPV) soldiers who were killed in the Korean War (1950-53) on Wednesday morning. It will be the fifth batch of remains to be returned since 2014, according to the website of the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) of China.
The official handover ceremony, scheduled for Wednesday, at South Korea's Incheon International Airport, will be led by Gao Xiaobing, China's vice-minister of the MCA, and Song Young-moo, South Korea's Defense Minister, reported the South Korean Yonhap News Agency on Monday.
China and South Korea held a joint repatriation ceremony on Monday in Incheon, a South Korean transport hub city bordering the capital Seoul. The remains of the 20 soldiers were placed in caskets during the ceremony, according to Yonhap.
Li Guiguang, vice-director of the Department of Settlement for Military Personnel under the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China, and Du Nongyi, military attaché at the Chinese Embassy in Seoul, participated in the solemn ceremony. Du thanked South Korea for its efforts in finding and identifying the remains of the Chinese soldiers, according to the MCA.
The remains were unearthed between March and November 2017 and will be returned to China following an agreement between the two countries reached on February 1, 2018, in Beijing, the MCA website added.
The last return took place on March 22, 2017, according to Yonhap.
Over 197,000 CPV soldiers were believed to have perished in the war, with most buried on the Korean Peninsula, the Xinhua News Agency reported in February 2017.