The South Korean Ministry of Defense is targeting development of a robot to recover the remains of soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, by 2024.
In 2000, the ministry launched the project to recover human remains buried underground. To date, 135,000 soldiers are reportedly still missing.
The Artificial Intelligence-powered bot will scan underground to detect bodies of soldiers martyred decades ago, accelerating the rate of excavation. The ministry will secure DNA samples from all the missing soldiers’ families to speed up identification process, The Korea Herald reported Wednesday.
The project covers Arrowhead Ridge, the site of fierce Korean battle that now falls inside the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas. A military pact was signed in 2018 by the two Koreas to cooperate and excavate the bodies in the DMZ.
By November, the ministry plans to complete examining 36 locations nationwide. On Wednesday, excavation began at seven locations in Gangwon Province after a two-month delay owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.