Remains of NK Soldiers Buried at Enemy Cemetery

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), June 10, 2000 | Go to article overview

Remains of NK Soldiers Buried at Enemy Cemetery


Two remains of North Korean soldiers who were killed during the 1950-53 Korean War were buried at an unusual ``enemy cemetery'' in the northern border city of Paju yesterday, signaling the budding thaw between the two Koreas ahead of the landmark inter-Korean summit.

The remains of enemy soldiers, along with some articles left by the deceased, were excavated from Korean War battlefields in Tabudong and Ankang near Taegu while South Korean soldiers were digging up the battlefield as part of a government plan to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Korean conflict.

A South Korean Army official said the burial came on humanitarian ground, but analysts say it may serve as a symbolic incident to open a new era in which the rival Koreas might bury their old hatchets and seek reconciliation after 50 years of tense confrontation. President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il are scheduled to hold the historic summit in Pyongyang next week.

The `enemy cemetery,' which is officially called the ``Cemetery for North Korean and Chinese Soldiers,'' was created in 1996 by the South Korean military. Its creation was intended to bury the remains of North Korean and Chinese soldiers which had been scattered across the country at a single place.

The 780-pyong cemetery may represent fierce hostilities that have occurred between the capitalist South and the communist North over the last five decades.

Currently buried at the 780-pyong ``enemy cemetery'' are the remains of 25 North Korean soldiers and one Chinese troop who were killed during the Naktong River battle. …

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