Remains of fallen United States soldiers transferred out of North Korea

Aaron Brown
July 27, 2018

The specifics of the remains recovery are unclear, but Yonhap said the plan is for a US team from United Nations Command to fly to Kalma airport near Wonsan on North Korea's east coast to take custody of the remains.

Fifty-five servicemen were returned as part of the operation, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

A soldier carries a casket containing what was believed to be the remains of a us soldier who was killed in the Korean War, during a ceremony at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, July 27, 2018.

They were carried in boxes covered in blue United Nations flags.

"Our objective remains the final, fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea, as agreed to by Chairman Kim Jong-un".

"(Declaration of an end to the Korean War) can play a role in facilitating the denuclearization process and I think we can pursue the idea even before North Korea completely abandons its nuclear program ... it is more of a political declaration and there are no legal measure involved".

An American military jet has left North Korea Friday after taking possession of what is believed to be the remains of United States troops killed during the Korean War some 65 years ago, the White House said.

This spring, American Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams and I were among several U.S. women who were denied special exemptions to travel to North Korea to meet with women from the Korea Socialist Women's Union to discuss how women could end the Korean War.

The return is the first time since 2005 that North Korea has handed over the remains of American service members. It will help heal the pain of so many American families who still await closure on their missing relatives from the Korean War.

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Friday marks the 65th anniversary of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.

The remains are expected to be flown to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii for identification. North Korea soon accused the United States of making a "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization" while failing to offer corresponding USA incentives to improve ties.

Meeting North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho in Pyongyang on Thursday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said China supported the reconciliation process between the North and the United States, China's Foreign Ministry said. "We are encouraged by North Koreas actions and the momentum for positive change". The group collected the remains of what were believed to have been 220 USA soldiers.

"This [the return of remains] is something that's not particularly costly for the North Koreans to do".

But since then the Pentagon's efforts to bring the war dead home have been overshadowed by tensions over the North's nuclear weapons program.

DPAA has identified locations where they believe there are major concentrations of remains inside North Korea.

Pyongyang has nevertheless expressed its willingness to allow the resumption of joint search missions in the country to retrieve more remains.

The White House said the move was the first step in achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"I hope that, very soon, these fallen warriors will begin coming home to lay at rest in American soil", Trump said.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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