POW/MIA Accounting Agency begins process of identifying Korean War remains

WaPo North Korea possibly working on missiles

The handing over the remains was part of a deal struck earlier this year between US President Donald Tump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"Thank you to Chairman Kim Jong-un for keeping your word & starting the process of sending home the remains of our great and beloved missing fallen!"

The remains of foreign soldiers returned by North Korea last week are likely to be American, an official at the U.S. agency that deals with troops missing in action said Wednesday, as a USA military aircraft prepared to repatriate the cases to Hawaii.

How long will it take to identify the remains?

USA vice president Mike Pence spoke at a ceremony before the flag-draped containers carrying the remains were taken off planes in sets of four.

"The two top leaders gladly accepted each other's invitation, convinced that it would serve as another important occasion for improved DPRK-US relation", KCNA said in their propaganda dispatch. "Today, our boys are coming home", Pence said.

A series of US-North Korean recovery efforts, termed "joint field activities", between 1996 and 2005 yielded 229 caskets of remains, of which 153 have been identified, according to the Pentagon. The war killed millions, including 36,000 American soldiers.

North Korea will top Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's agenda as he heads to an Asian security meeting in Singapore this week amid new concerns over Pyongyang's ballistic missile program and commitment to denuclearization. In the past, North Korea turned over commingled remains.

Sixteen other countries sent troops to fight in the 1950-53 Korean War under the United Nations umbrella, and several of them also are believed to have been lost in the North.

The construction of new missiles comes after US President Donald Trump declared the isolated state was "no longer a nuclear threat" following a historic summit last month.

"Once it became official Friday, Korean time, that North Korea had returned the soldiers" remains, Trump reiterated that North kept its promise and underlined the fact that no monetary rewards were exchanged. Some 5,300 are believed to be missing inside North Korea.

Honor guards carry the remains of USA servicemen killed in the Korean War and collected in North Korea, during a ceremony at the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Wednesday.

Pyongyang sees an official end to war as crucial to lowering tensions.

The vice president said that when Sanfilippo was 4 years old she lost her father in the Korean War during a recon mission, and that when Downes was just 3 years old he lost his father operating radar on a B-26 bomber.

More than 7,700 USA troops remain unaccounted for from the 1950-53 Korea War.

On Tuesday, North and South Korea held their second round of military talks since June, when the first such meeting took place at the border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ), where the two sides pledged to halt "all hostile acts". Recent photos suggested the North Koreans were in the process of dismantling a test engine stand at a satellite launching station, but various analysts warn the gesture is mostly symbolic since tests there were already complete.

Chief North Korean delegate Lt. Gen.

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