North Korea Hands Over Remains of U.S. Soldiers From Korean War

North Korea Will Transfer Remains Of US Soldiers Who Died In Korean War Friday

During their summit last month, Kim Jong Un had promised Donald Trump that the handover would happen - making this the first tangible result from the talks.

The repatriation of the remains missing in the 1950-53 conflict is seen as a modest diplomatic coup for U.S. President Donald Trump as it was one of the agreements reached during his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore aimed primarily at securing the denuclearisation of the North.

Rick Downes, executive director of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, said on Facebook that the group was pleased by the news and said he hoped it was a signal that more American soldiers could be brought home beginning next year.

The initial agreement between Kim and the Trump administration calls for the remains to be airlifted to a forensic base in Hawaii, where they will hopefully be identified.

Then, soldiers slowly carried the small cases - covered with the blue-and-white United Nations insignia - before placing them in waiting vans.

Many officials in Washington appeared concerned that an early declaration of peace could lead to the collapse of the U.S.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the repatriations would begin soon but did not confirm media reports about the first transfer of some 50 sets of remains.

Millions died during the war, including 36,000 U.S. soldiers.

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On the 65th anniversary of the Korean War, Pyongyang has handed over the remains of dozens of USA soldiers who died during the three-year-long conflict, the White House has confirmed.

One hundred wooden transit caskets were delivered to the demilitarized zone at the North and South Korean border at the end of June.

Kim committed in a broad summit statement to work towards denuclearisation but Pyongyang has offered no details. "It will return (to South Korea) today".

"It was a successful mission following extensive coordination", General Vincent Brooks, commander of the UNC and United States Forces Korea, said in a statement. Of those, approximately 5,300 are expected to be located in North Korea. However, he said Kim needed to follow through on his summit commitments to denuclearise.

Washington has maintained Pyongyang wouldn't get sanctions relief and significant security and economic rewards unless it firmly commits to a process of completely and verifiably eliminating its nuclear weapons.

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.

Rick Downes, who was three years old when his father Hal Downes went missing during the Korean War, flew to Pyongyang to press for the return of not just his father's remains but also those of the 5,300 American servicemen still missing in action in North Korea.

USA and North Korean officials met twice during the week of July 16 to discuss the transfer of remains, according to State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.

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