Friday saw something pretty amazing with North Korea turning over the remains of 55 U.S. service members. These men were killed during the Korean War of the 1950s.
A momentous event when a U.S. cargo aircraft flew to Wonson, North Korea, to receive the remains which then landed at Osan Air Base, in South Korea
“It was a successful mission following extensive coordination,” said U.S. Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks
Boxes covered with blue U.N. flags were carried out onto the tarmac at Osan with a U.S. military honor guard. A full honors ceremony will be next Wednesday.
All this was a result of part of an agreement, which was made in June between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The receiving of war dead now starts a lengthy series of forensic examinations. These tests will be to determine whether the remains are human and are U.S. or allied troops.
Referring to Kim, the White House said in a statement: “We are encouraged by North Korea’s actions and the momentum for positive change”.
Trump also stated, “After so many years, this will be a great moment for so many families. Thank you to Kim Jong Un.”
According to the Defense Department, there are 7,800 U.S. service members were lost and unrecovered from the Korean War, with about 5,300 of those were lost in North Korea. The war was fought from June 25, 1950, until July 27, 1953.
Getting remains back to U.S. soil has be a going effort for some time with the U.S.-North Korea military. Search teams from 1996 to 2005 collected 229 sets of U.S. remains, but efforts were disrupted for more than a decade as Washington and Pyongyang clashed over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
“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,” the White House said.
But now with the release of these new remains, it is boosting confidence that talks between South Korea, North Korea, and the U.S. will be much easier.
The exact number of war dead is not known but it is estimated that more than 33,000 U.S. service members died in battle during the Korean War.
The hope is that more remains will be coming back home, with each being honored for their sacrifice.