Family DNA samples of more than half of missing Korean War soldiers collected

SEOUL, Family DNA samples of more than half of the South Korean troops killed and unaccounted for in the 1950-53 Korean War have been collected as part of efforts to recover their remains, the defense ministry said Thursday. As of Wednesday, the ministry's war remains excavation agency collected DNA samples from close family members of 66,673 Korean War soldiers of the total 133,192 troops whose remains have yet to be recovered or identified. The agency has relied on DNA samples of family members to identify recovered remains after the country launched an excavation project in 2000. It has so far identified the remains of 227 service members after excavating over 11,000 remains. The agency said it was able to make progress in the DNA collection effort in the past five years by finding the bereaved family members themselves based on past military records and directly gathering their samples. A total of 162,394 South Korean soldiers were killed or went missing during the war, with only 29,202 of them being accounted for and being laid to rest, according to the agency. Source: Yonhap News Agency