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South Korea returns remains of more than 400 Chinese soldiers for burial

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South Korea flew the remains of 437 Chinese soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War back to China on Friday for final burial in their homeland.

The small coffins, draped in the Chinese flag, were carried by Chinese soldiers and loaded on a plane at Incheon airport, to be flown to the northeastern city of Shenyang where China has a state cemetery for its war dead.

“This is a new milestone in bilateral relations and is expected to serve as a good example of promoting peace in Northeast Asia,” said defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok.

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye had offered to return the bodies as a goodwill gesture during her visit to Beijing in June last year.

China fought alongside North Korea in the 1950-53 conflict — its dramatic and crucial intervention coming after U.S.-led forces had pushed the North Korean army into the far north of the peninsula.

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Casualty figures remain disputed but Western estimates commonly cite a figure of 400,000 Chinese deaths, while Chinese sources mention a toll of about 180,000.

The bodies were initially buried in small plots scattered around the country.

In 1996, Seoul designated a special cemetery plot in Paju, just south of the heavily-fortified border with North Korea, where all the remains of Chinese and North Korean soldiers still on South Korean soil could be buried together.

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Work on exhuming the Chinese remains at Paju for repatriation began back in December.

While some graves are named, most are identified only by nationality.

More than 700 North Korean soldiers are also interred at the cemetery. But the North has ignored the South’s offer to return the bodies despite sporadic talks on the issue.

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The bodies of more than two dozen North Korean commandos killed in a daring but unsuccessful 1968 attack on the presidential palace in Seoul are buried there.

Also there is the body of a North Korean agent responsible for the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner that killed 115 people.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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Trump-loving news network hires Russian propagandist linked to 2016 election interference: report

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According to a report at the Daily Beast, a San Diego broadcasting operation that is vying with Fox News to catch the eye of Donald Trump is employing a reporter with links to Russian efforts to manipulate the 2016 election.

One America News Network (OANN), which was once home to Fox personality Tomi Lahren, now employs Kristian Brunovich Rouz, who joined the network and is still doing work with Russian government-run Sputnik.

According to the report, Sputnik "played a role in Russia’s 2016 election interference operation, according to an assessment by the U.S. intelligence community."

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Ex-Bush aide says Trump falls back on racism because he’s losing his mind: ‘Take him to Walter Reed for a full medical’

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MSNBC contributor Elise Jordan said President Donald Trump was stuck peddling racism because he's losing his mental faculties.

The former speechwriter and National Security Council staffer in George W. Bush's administration said Trump's attack on four Democratic congresswomen betrayed his inherent racism, and showed that he's mentally diminished.

"I think you're being a little bit too charitable regarding Donald Trump having an actual strategy in the first place," Jordan told "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough. "I think that this is who he is -- he's racist."

"You have seen it, you know, his entire career," she continued, "whether it's calling for five young black men who are innocent to be executed. you see it in his comments consistently throughout the course of his campaign wanting to ban an entire religion from entering the country, and just this week the horrible remarks that, you know, an elected official -- elected by her fellow countrymen and women should be grateful to be in the country and should leave otherwise."

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Anger soars over vicious mob attack on Hong Kong protesters

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Anger soared in Hong Kong on Monday over a vicious assault on pro-democracy protesters by suspected triad gangsters that left dozens wounded, a dramatic escalation of the political turmoil plaguing the Chinese city.

The financial hub's roiling unrest took a dark turn late Sunday when gangs of men -- most wearing white T-shirts and carrying bats, sticks and metal poles -- set upon anti-government demonstrators as they returned from another huge march earlier that day.

AFP / John SAEKI Hong Kong conflict

Footage broadcast live on Facebook showed people screaming as the men beat multiple protesters and journalists in Yuen Long station and inside subway trains, leaving pools of blood on the floor.

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