Veterans want PM to repatriate bodies of Dutch soldiers missing in North Korea

Korean war - volunteers arrive in Korea from Indonesia, 9 October 1950
Korean war - volunteers arrive in Korea from Indonesia, 9 October 1950Photo: Daan Noske / Anefo / Wikikmedia Commons

The association for Dutch veterans that fought in the Korean war VOKS wants Prime Minister Mark Rutte to try and get the remains released of five Dutch soldiers who went missing or were killed in North Korea. "Only then can their family finally say goodbye to their loved ones in a dignified way", VOKS wrote in a letter to the Dutch Prime Minister, the Telegraaf reports.

This concerns sergeant Van der Snepscheut, soldier Moonen, soldier Knaap, soldier Deegmulder and soldier Lamberti. They all served with the Dutch Detachment United Nations in the Korean war. The first three soldiers went missing in 1951, 1952 and 1953 respectively. Deegmulder was killed in 1951, and his body was left on the battlefield. Lamberti was taken prisoner and died in captivity.

North Korea recently released the remains of American soldiers after an agreement made between the countries two leaders, Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump. "We took note of this with delight", VOKS wrote. This development gives hope that the same could happen for the Dutch soldiers, and the veterans are therefore now calling on the Dutch Prime Minister to intervene. VOKS wants the remains of the five Dutch soldiers to be buried at the UN War Cemetery Tanggok in Busan, South Korea. 117 Dutch soldiers are already buried there.

The Korean war was fought between North- and South Korea from 1950 to 1953. The North Koreans were supported by China and the Soviet Union. South Korea received support from the UN and various UN countries, led by the United States. Over 4,700 Dutch soldiers were deployed.