The US Has A Complicated History Of Getting Remains From North Korea

Charlene Craig
August 3, 2018

Donald Trump has said he is looking forward to meeting Kim Jong-un again soon as he thanked the North Korean leader for returning the remains of USA soldiers killed in the 1950-1953 Korean war. Service members from countries including Australia, Belgium, France and the Philippines also have not been recovered from North Korea.

The remains are believed to be of Americans killed during the Korean War in North Korea. "We don't know who's in those boxes", Mattis said.

All Americans welcome the return of remains from the Korean War.

The troops carried 55 boxes draped with American flags off C-17 aircraft and into a hangar at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

That was the case with USA negotiations with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and more recently with Iran, "which continued to build more centrifuges capable of producing nuclear material even as it negotiated with the United States to limit those capabilities", Mr Wit said.

A U.S. Army chaplain delivered a prayer in both Korean and English.

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"They were husbands and fathers, brothers and neighbors - long gone, but never lost to the memory of their loved ones", Pence said during the ceremony at a military base in Hawaii.

The factory is known to have produced the Hwasong-15, the first North Korean ICBM capable of reaching the US.

Generals from the rival Koreas met on Tuesday at their shared border for talks meant to ease a decades-long military standoff, Seoul officials said.

The good news, from Trump's standpoint, is that it will take years to definitively identify the remains.

Ever since the summit in Singapore, President Trump and his administration have touted the agreement he signed with Kim - even though it didn't spell out any kind of specific framework or plan for Korean Peninsula's disarmament. But North Korea provided only a single military dog tag with the 55 boxes.

But experts say positive identification of all the remains could take years.

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"Some have called the Korean War the 'forgotten war.' But today, we prove these heroes were never forgotten", Pence said at the ceremony welcoming the remains, which were flown from South Korea earlier in the day. "Today, our boys are coming home", Pence said. A total of 5,300 American servicemen are believed to have been lost in what is now North Korea.

While President Donald Trump proclaimed on Twitter in recent weeks that North Korea is "no longer a Nuclear Threat", the regime continues to construct new missiles, according to US intelligence officials who spoke with the Washington Post. But examination showed that the remains were from more than 208 individuals. It was the first repatriation of remains since 2005.

More than 7,600 American servicemembers remain missing from the three-year war, which ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty.

Last week, it appeared North Korea had begun dismantling part of a key rocket launch site, but according to recent reports based on U.S. intelligence leaks, Pyongyang might still secretly be continuing its nuclear weapons programme.

The recovery efforts stalled for more than a decade because of a standoff over North Korea's nuclear ambitions and a previous United States claim that security arrangements for its personnel working in the North were insufficient.

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