A ceremony was held in South Korea on Wednesday (August 1) to mark the repatriation of human remains, likely to be American, from the 1950-1953 Korean War. The remains were delivered from the North to South Korea last Friday, and will make their way from Osan to Hawaii early Wednesday.
Pence, whose father fought in the Korean War, said the U.S. "will never stop striving until every hero lost in the Korean War is home" and hence keep its promise "to leave no man behind". "We don't know who's in those boxes", Mattis said.
Forensic experts who focus on identifying lost American service personnel will use dental records and mitochondrial DNA to identify the fallen, the Department of Defense announced. They set the caskets gently on risers lined up inside the hangar.
The U.S. military will take the remains to a laboratory at the base for identification.
While North Korea honored its promise to return the remains of fallen US soldiers during the Korean War, there have been troubling reports that Pyongyang will never truly disarm.
No reason to believe remains returned by North Korea are not American
Nauert said that North Korean officials would be at some of the same meetings as State Department officials in the area. The cases have been kept there since Friday , awaiting their repatriation to Hawaii for further forensic analysis.
Friday's transfer of the remains coincided with the 65th anniversary of the 1953 armistice that ended fighting between North Korean and Chinese forces and South Korean and US -led forces under the U.N. Command.
North Korea prepares new missiles, still working on advanced weapons in a factory that developed the first intercontinental ballistic missiles of the country able to reach the United States, as indicated by officials familiar with the intelligence. We have many others coming.
There have also been recent reports of a secret uranium enrichment facility. That could then allow the North to demand the pullout of 28,500 US troops deployed in South Korea.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that North Korea was continuing to produce fuel for nuclear bombs despite its pledge to denuclearise. But many experts say those are neither irrevocable nor serious steps that could show the country is honest about denuclearization. Trump later suspended annual military drills with South Korea which North Korea had long called an invasion rehearsal. Kim committed in a broad summit statement to work toward denuclearization, but Pyong-yang has offered no details as to how it might go about that and subsequent talks have not gone smoothly.
"This is a great first step in terms of bringing a bunch of fallen Americans home", said Rear Admiral Jon Kreitz, the deputy director of the agency in charge of identifying the remains, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).
The Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.
North Korea handed over the 55 cases on July 27, when an Air Force C-17 flew to an airbase near Wonsan on North Korea's east coast and returned with the remains to Osan. Pompeo said there was "an very bad long way to go" before North Korea could no longer be viewed as a nuclear threat.
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