In symbolic gesture, North Korea returns remains of United States service members

by Abel Hampton July 27, 2018, 11:25
In symbolic gesture, North Korea returns remains of United States service members

"We have seen only a vague agreement of promises to make more promises - but with weaker commitments than North Korea has previously made", he said.

"It is accompanied by service members from United Nations Command Korea and technical experts from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency", a press statement issued by the White House said earlier.

"At their historic meeting in Singapore, President Donald J. Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un took a bold first step to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, transform relations between the United States and North Korea, and establish enduring peace", the White House statement said.

A formal repatriation ceremony is expected to be held in Pyeongtaek on Wednesday, after which the remains will be flown to the United States for forensic examination.

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.

Millions died during the war, including 36,000 United States soldiers.

President Trump tweeted late Thursday that the reamins will soon be flown out of North Korea.

The South Korean official cited by Yonhap said it was unclear how many sets of remains would be returned.

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.

The return of the remains comes on the 65th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War.

USA forensic specialists are to conduct a more in-depth assessment of the remains as well as an examination of any military uniform, identification tags or documentation at Osan Air Base. However, he did not respond when asked by Senator Bob Menendez whether Pyongyang agreed with the USA definition of denuclearisation, except to say he was fully confident North Korea understood this.

The North Koreans scheduled a meeting with American officials for June 12 to discuss the delivery of the remains, but did not arrive in Panmunjom, leaving the Americans stranded. -North Korea military search teams conducted 33 recovery operations that collected 229 sets of American remains. Officials have bristled, however, at criticism from the USA that it seeks to profit from the repatriations by demanding excessive fees for handling and transporting the remains.

But Yonhap reported Thursday that the North would begin returning the remains.

The US State Department says Washington is committed to building a peace mechanism to replace the armistice when North Korea has denuclearised.

The remains are believed to be some of the more than 200 that North Korea has held in storage for some time, and were likely recovered from land during farming or construction. Its officials also agreed to resume joint U.S.

Speaking to CBS regarding the denuclearisation process, President Trump said on Tuesday: "I'm in no real rush".


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