South Korea on Monday awarded citizenship to the overseas-based descendants of 10 patriots who died fighting for the country's independence from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.
Justice Minister Park Sang-ki presented 31 descendants with citizenship certificates in an award ceremony at the ministry's headquarters, it said in a statement.
The recipients were mostly third to fifth-generation descendants of the independence fighters. Thirteen of them were from China, seven others from Russia, five from Cuba and the rest from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Canada.
"The occasion is to mark the sacrifices the heroes made for the country and to honor their service and spirit," Minister Park said.
"We hope that doing so will give you some comfort for the hardship the families went through living away from the homeland."
The awarding of citizenship comes ahead of the Aug. 15 Liberation Day that commemorates the end of the Japanese occupation of Korea.
South Korea has so far awarded citizenship to a total of 295 descendants of men of merit based overseas since 2006. In April this year, Korea awarded citizenship to seven spouses of patriots' offspring for the first time. (Yonhap)