The remains of Korean freedom fighter Hong Beom-do arrived in Seoul on Sunday, the country’s Liberation Day, carried by a South Korean aerial tanker.
The late general’s homeland welcomed him with the highest respect. Six air force fighter jets escorted the aerial tanker once it entered the Korea air defense identification zone until landing at Seoul Air Base.
A guard of honor retrieved the remains of Hong Beom-do from the plane on a lift.
They walked down the red carpet as the military band played the song ‘Auld Lang Syne’ , meaning ‘good old days,’ which was sung as a national anthem by independence fighters.
President Moon Jae-in was there to greet the late general by offering incense and paying silent tribute.
The repatriation comes 78 years after his death in Kazakhstan. It is timed in connection with a state visit to South Korea by the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Monday.
Hong Beom-do served as general commander of the Korean independence army during the Japanese colonial era.
The late general is famous for leading freedom fighters to victory against Japanese troops at the Battle of Bongodong in Manchuria, China, in 1920.
Hong, along with another towering figure Kim Chwa-chin , spearheaded the victory at the Battle of Cheongsanri as well, a battle that took place four months after Bongodong .
But as the Japanese oppression intensified, general Hong fled to the then-Soviet Union and joined Russian military forces.
In 1937, under Joseph Stalin’s forced migration policy, he was deported to Kazakhstan, where he died at the age of 75.
The official mourning period for the late general is from Monday to Tuesday. He will be put to rest at a national cemetery in the central city of Daejeon on Wednesday.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.

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