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Cemetery for North Korean and Chinese Soldiers

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Cemetery for North Korean and Chinese Soldiers

Cemetery for North Korean and Chinese Soldiers
South Korea
Used for those deceased 1950–present
Established July 1996
Location Jajang-Ro, Papyeong-myeon (파평면), Paju, Republic of Korea
Total burials 770+
Burials by nation

Cemetery for North Korean and Chinese Soldiers (Hangul: 북한군/중국군 묘지 제 1 묘역; RR: buk-han-gun/jung-guk-gun myo-ji je 1 myo-yeok; also known as the Enemy Cemetery) located in Jajang-Ro, Papyeong-myeon (파평면), Paju, Republic of Korea, is a burial ground for North Korean casualties of the Korean War and North Korean agents killed in South Korea since the end of the war. The cemetery formerly contained the remains of 437 Chinese People's Volunteer Army soldiers but these were all repatriated in March 2014.

History

The cemetery was established in July 1996 as a centralised burial place for the remains of Korean People's Army and People's Volunteer Army soldiers recovered from battlefield exhumations across South Korea and for North Korean agents killed in South Korea since the end of the Korean War.[1]

North Korea refused to accept the repatriation of the remains of its personnel on the basis that North Korea claims sovereignty over all of Korea and the soldiers accordingly are already buried on Korean soil and the acceptance of the bodies of agents would amount to acknowledgment of espionage operations denied by North Korea. The graves are in the form of traditional Korean burial mounds with plain wooden markers facing north towards North Korea (approximately 5 kilometers away). The majority of the graves are marked 무명 (anonymous), while those of North Korean agents are marked with 간첩 (spy) followed by the name if known. The cemetery receives few visitors because the South Korean intelligence services monitored the site to detect North Korean sympathisers, though the services say they no longer monitor the site.[1]

South Korea had previously returned the remains of Chinese soldiers to North Korea through the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission which then repatriated them to China. From 1981 to 1989, 42 sets of remains were returned in this manner, however in 1997, North Korea refused to accept any further Chinese remains.[2] Following a visit by South Korean President Park Geun-hye to Beijing in June 2013, it was agreed that the remains of the Chinese soldiers would be repatriated directly to China. The exhumation of the remains started in December 2013 and on 17 March 2014, the repatriation of the remains of the 437 Chinese soldiers took place. 55 of the sets of remains were identified while the rest were unknowns.[3] The remains are to be interred in the Resist America and Aid Korea Martyrs Cemetery in Shenyang, China.[2]

Renovation plans for the cemetery were considered in 2012, but they met with opposition in South Korea and were not carried out.[4]

Notable burials

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "South Korean cemetery keeps Cold War alive". Reuters. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "After Six Decades, Chinese Soldiers Killed in South Korea Head Home". New York Times. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Last casualties of the Korean war: Burial for the 400 Chinese soldiers found in peninsula who were part of massive and ill-equipped Red Army". Daily Mail. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "'"South Korea Badly Neglects 'Enemy Cemetery. Huffington Post. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
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