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Independence fighter's remains to return home from US next week

By Yonhap

Published : April 4, 2023 - 10:36

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This file photo, taken March 29, 2019, shows the grave of Korean Independence fighter Hwang Ki-hwan at Mount Olivet Cemetery in New York. (Yonhap) This file photo, taken March 29, 2019, shows the grave of Korean Independence fighter Hwang Ki-hwan at Mount Olivet Cemetery in New York. (Yonhap)

The remains of a Korean independence fighter who inspired a hit 2018 TV series will return home from the United States next week a century after his death, the veterans ministry said Tuesday.

The remains of Hwang Ki-hwan, currently laid to rest at Mount Olivet Cemetery in New York, will be sent to South Korea on Sunday before the centennial anniversary of his death on April 17, according to the ministry.

It plans to inter the remains at the Daejeon National Cemetery in Daejeon, 139 kilometers south of the capital, on Monday after holding a repatriation ceremony.

The ministry had sought for the remains' return for a decade but faced obstacles as the New York cemetery had called for a local court's approval due to the absence of Hwang's family members.

The cemetery finally reached an agreement on the remains' relocation in January after persuasion from the ministry and South Korea's Consulate General in New York, according to the ministry.

Hwang's life got into the spotlight in recent years as he became known as the real-life model of a protagonist in the historical drama "Mr. Sunshine."

Born in Sunchon, South Pyongan Province, now in North Korea, in 1886, Hwang moved to the United States in 1904 and volunteered to fight for the country during World War I.

After the war, he supported Korean representatives to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and took part in the independence movement against Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.

He died of heart disease in New York in 1923. (Yonhap)