February 21, 2024
Analysis

Seoul to take DNA samples from bodies North Korea refuses to repatriate

The measure aims to bring closure to families in the DPRK as soured ties leave little room for cooperation on the issue

South Korea’s unification ministry announced this week its plans to amend government protocols on how to deal with the bodies of North Koreans who wash up on South Korean shores. 

The ministry has proposed that DNA samples be taken from the bodies of individuals whom North Korea refuses to repatriate so that Seoul will be able to inform the families of the deceased should such an opportunity arise in the future. Experts told NK News that the ministry’s decision was “commendable” and needed urgently.