US prepping to receive war dead remains from North Korea: report
The U.S. military command in South Korea is preparing to receive the dead remains of an unknown number of soldiers from North Korea, The Associated Press reported.
Officials told the AP the exact time of the hand-off is uncertain, but it could take place soon.
The remains belong to U.S. or allied service members who have been missing since the Korean War in the 1950s. They are expected to be some or all of the more than 200 remains the North Koreans possess.
The repatriation of the remains comes after President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met last week at a summit in Singapore.
Trump had said, “We’re getting the remains, and nobody thought that was possible.”
The Pentagon said Trump’s agreement with Kim at the summit made the return of remains possible, the AP reported. The last time North Korea returned remains of U.S. troops missing from the Korean War was over a decade ago.
According to officials who spoke with the AP, the transfer will be made in a somber, formal ceremony — as a transfer of remains is usually done. It is not yet clear where the ceremony will take place.
After the remains are turned over to the U.S., they will be sent to two Defense Department facilities in Hawaii and Nebraska to be tested to be identified, a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency spokesperson told the AP.
More than 36,000 U.S. troops died during the Korean War and close to 7,700 U.S. troops remain unaccounted for. About 5,300 of the unaccounted troops were lost in North Korea.