North Korea is making another peace offering and has returned the remains of what are believed to be U.S. soldiers that were killed in the Korean War about 65 years ago.
About 36,000 American soldiers were killed in this war and 7,700 U.S. soldiers were listed missing. At least 5,300 of the remains were believed to still be in North Korea.
55 cases of remains were shipped from Wonsan, North Korea to the American air force base in South Korea.
“A U.S. cargo plane arrived at an American air force base in South Korea on Friday morning, a step in fulfilling an agreement made between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un at their historic summit in Singapore last month,” writes USA Today. “The plane, a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster, transported the remains from Wonsan, North Korea, to Osan Air Force Base, located some 40 miles south of Seoul. It was accompanied by service members from United Nations Command Korea and technical experts from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the Hawaii-based government agency responsible for recovering missing personnel, according to a statement from the White House.”
The White House celebrated the delivery and held a formal repatriation ceremony, that was led by General Vincent Brooks, the commander of American forces in Korea.
“As the son of a Korean War combat veteran, it is deeply humbling to be part of this historic moment,” said Mike Pence, the U.S. Vice President, who attended the ceremony. “We will never forget the sacrifices these brave service members and their families made for our nation and our freedoms.”
The U.S. accepted the remains just a month after President Donald Trump met with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, where they discussed this transfer.
“The Remains of American Servicemen will soon be leaving North Korea and heading to the United States! After so many years, this will be a great moment for so many families. Thank you to Kim Jong Un,” tweeted Trump.
“I want to thank Chairman Kim for keeping his word,” said Trump to reporters Friday.
The remains will now be submitted for forensic testing to determine if they are human and if they are from American or allied soldiers. It could take years to specifically identify the soldiers and depends on the records on file for the fallen soldiers.
“The United States owes a profound debt of gratitude to those American service members who gave their lives in service to their country and we are working diligently to bring them home,” said the White House in a statement. “It is a solemn obligation of the United States Government to ensure that the remains are handled with dignity and properly accounted for so their families receive them in an honorable manner.”
Author’s note: It has been a long time coming for the families of these fallen soldiers, but some will finally be able to have some closure and can properly put their ancestors to rest. Relations with North Korea seem to be moving in the right direction. Kim surprisingly has kept one of the promises made to Trump last month.