Article 111 of the Korean Armistice Agreement laid the ground work for the exchange of prisoners that started 5 August 1953. Phase One would transfer the prisoners who chose repatriation to the neutral area around Panmunjom and be supervised by three representatives from both sides.
Phase Two was for those that refused repatriation. Red Cross teams went to the camps to be certain the POW’s choices were voluntary. Officer teams from Sweden, Switzerland, Poland and Czechoslovakia directed the activities; 3,000 Indians troops were sent to arrange the required interviews.
All during this difficult process, continuous little battles were being fought behind the wire and there were constant threats to the interrogators and their families. By 31 December 1953, only 5,000 prisoners had been screened out of 22,604.
The United Nations returned 75,823 to North Korea and 22,604 were turned over to the NNRC (Neutral…
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