The remains of 68 South Korean soldiers and six American troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War will return home after some seven decades.
South Korea and the U.S. on Wednesday held a joint ceremony for the transfer of the remains at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.
President Moon Jae-in attended the event -- the first South Korean president to lead such a ceremony overseas.
"What the heroes would desire the most is complete peace on the Korean Peninsula. During my UN address, I proposed that relevant parties declare an end to the Korean War and open a new era of reconciliation and cooperation. The end-of-war declaration will bring new hope and courage, beyond the Korean Peninsula, for all those who want peace."
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Wrapped in the South Korean flag, two remains that have been identified are being brought back on board Air Force One with President Moon -- showing the highest honor for the fallen.
The unidentified remains will be carried home on the KC-330 Cygnus multi-role tanker with Defense Minister Suh Wook.
The Blue House said the event demonstrated the administration's commitment to taking responsibility for those who sacrificed their lives for the country,… and reaffirmed the strong Seoul-Washington alliance.
As part of the Korean War Identification Project -- the U.S. has been returning remains handed over by North Korea that have been identified as South Koreans.
The identification lab of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency -- which investigates and searches for war dead -- is based in Hawaii.
307 remains, including the 68 this time, have been returned since 2012.
Last year, to mark seven decades since the outbreak of the Korean War, the DPAA held a repatriation ceremony to transfer the remains of 147 fallen South Korean soldiers.
Earlier in the day, President Moon posthumously awarded medals to two independence activists under Japan's colonial rule of Korea -- the first time such a ceremony to be held overseas.
Kim No-di and Ahn Jeong-song -- were awarded the Order of Merit for National Foundation.
They were part of the immigration generation -- that actively supported Korea's independence movement by raising funds on foreign soil.
"The government will work to identify the contributions of our independence activists overseas and to find more of their descendents, even if we find only one. The government will do its utmost to show respect to those who devoted their lives to independence, both as a government responsibility and as the honorable thing to do."
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"President Moon now makes his way back home after wrapping up his trip to Hawaii. Once he arrives in South Korea on Thursday evening, Moon will attend a repatriation ceremony for the war remains brought back to their homeland. Kim Minji, Arirang News, Honolulu."
And, we will bring you a live coverage of the repatriation ceremony at Seoul Air Force Base at roughly 9:30 pm Korea time.