South Korean President Moon Jae-in will be the keynote speaker on Wednesday at the first-ever joint repatriation ceremony at Pearl Harbor-Hickam Joint Base for servicemen who fell in the Korean War, the accounting agency said. POW / MIA.
The agency, which investigates, searches for and recovers missing U.S. war dead around the world, said 68 ROK servicemen and six U.S. servicemen will be repatriated to their home countries. The DPAA has a large identification lab, offices, and hundreds of employees in Hawaii.
The ceremony will be held with the South Korean Ministry of National Defense Agency for the Recovery and Identification of KIAs, or MAKRI, which is one of the only other major nationwide war dead recovery efforts. .
Representing the United States will be Adm. John Aquilino, commander of US Indo-Pacific Command headquartered at Camp HM Smith.
Remarks will also be made by Rear Admiral Darius Banaji, deputy director of operations of the DPAA, “highlighting the US-Rokan alliance and the noble and shared efforts to return our dead,” the US agency said in a statement. .
“This ceremony, like past repatriations, is due to the strong and long-standing partnership between DPAA and MAKRI,” added the accounting agency. “It was the incredible improvements in technology, advances in forensic science, and the strong partnership between DPAA and MAKRI that led to these identifications.”
In June 2020, the DPAA hosted a repatriation ceremony in Hickam in which the remains of 147 fallen South Korean soldiers, who fought alongside US and United Nations forces during the 1950-1953 Korean War. , were brought back to their country.
The efforts were part of the DPAA’s Korean War Identification Project and included remains unilaterally handed over by North Korea from 1990 to 1994 and in 2018. It was the largest transfer of remains between the two countries since a repatriation ceremony in 2018 when the DPAA returned 64 remains to South Korea, the accounting agency said.
Deputy Minister of National Defense Jae Min Park, a senior South Korean official present, accepted the remains on behalf of the Republic of Korea.
In the 2020 case, the remains were analyzed by scientists and staff from the DPAA and MAKRI laboratory in a joint forensic examination conducted in the days leading up to the ceremony, according to the accounting agency.