Remains of 2 U.S. soldiers identified

Sergio Conner
September 14, 2018

Two Korean War dead have been identified from remains turned over to the U.S.in July by North Korea, according to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday.

Almost 7,700 USA service members were listed as missing and unaccounted for from the 1950-53 Korean War.

North Korea turned over 55 boxes of remains to USA officials at Wonsan, North Korea, on July 27.

Mattis praised the work of those involved in the identification process and said it represents long-awaited closure form some families.

Mattis added that USA and North Korean officials are discussing the return of additional remains.

Korean People's Army soldiers stand beneath the entrance to a pavillion before the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) at the truce village of Panmunjom on the North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea. Despite setbacks in the nuclear negotiations, North Korea has maintained its moratorium on weapons testing, has toned down its rhetoric, and attempted to downplay the threatening nature of its arsenal, as was evidenced by its decision not to feature ICBMs in its most recent military parade. One individual is believed to be African American, based on the remains. They were welcomed home to the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam by Vice President Mike Pence, who described the event as "just a beginning" as work will not stop until all of the missing are fully accounted for.

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Sampling for DNA analysis has been carried out so far on about half of the boxes of remains, they said.

She spoke above tables of bone fragments, still separated with numbers corresponding with 55 boxes used by North Korea to deliver them to the United States. The Defense Department laboratory in Hawaii is working to identify them.

"It's really personal to me", Jin said.

The meeting took place at the border truce village of Panmunjom in the DMZ on Friday, the US-led United Nations Command Korea said in a statement. The two nations are still technically at war, but hostilities ended following the signing of what was meant to be a temporary armistice in 1953.

The Pentagon has said it is considering the possibility of sending personnel to North Korea to search for more remains.

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