More than 30,000 Koreans were forced to go to the Russian Far Eastern island of Sakhalin during Japanese colonization, but they didn't get to return to their homeland even after Korea's liberation. Recently the remains of some 70 Sakhalin Koreans have been brought to Korea.
Back in the 1940s, when the Japanese forced scores of Koreans to work for them, Koreans who were taken to the Russian island of Sakhalin were forced to work at mines and construction sites. Although Korea regained independence in 1945, those people had to spend the remainder of their lives in the foreign land. Recently the remains of 11 Koreans who were exploited by the Japanese on Sakhalin Island have been brought to Korea more than seven decades after they had to leave their beloved motherland. The son who lost his father when he was only one month old has now become a gray-haired elderly man. He takes after his deceased father.
[Soundbite] Baek Nam-kil(Son of Sakhalin Korean Victim of Japanese Exploitation) : "My lifelong wish has been to meet my father and hold his tender hands at least once."
About 30,000 Koreans were forced to work for the Japanese on Sakhalin Island. The government estimates that the remains of more than three thousands of them are still in Sakhalin.
[Soundbite] Lee Beom-seok(Min. of the Interior) : "We will carry out this project proactively to bring back the victims' remains in order to comfort their souls and heal the wounds of the bereaved families."
Since the returns of the remains of Sakhalin Koreans began in 2013, 43 victims have been brought to Korea so far.