Department of Defense Begins Identifying Remains Returned From North Korea

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Vice President Mike Pence, the son of a Korean War veteran, is to fly to Hawaii for what the military calls an "honorable carry ceremony" marking the arrival of the remains on American soil.

The boxes transferred at the ceremony in South Korea were covered in United Nations flags because many other nations fought with the United States during the brutal three year conflict, though the DPAA has noted the remains are presumed to be Americans.

The report was based on classified intelligence supplied by US officials under the condition of anonymity.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un make history in the first sitting between United States and North Korean leaders, as they negotiate the end of the nuclear stand-off.

How long it takes to identify the remains is fraught with uncertainty and depends on a number of factors, Lee Tucker, a spokesperson at the DPAA, told UPI.

One dog tag was also returned, and the family of that soldier has been informed, but it has not been established whether his remains were among those returned, Byrd said.

Why are United States remains in North Korea?

"If it's identified quickly, it would be around five to six months, but if not, it could take decades". "But my dad, gone now 30 years, always told us the real heroes.were the ones that didn't get to come home", the U.S. vice president said.

Rick Downes, executive director of a group of families whose loved ones never came home from the Korean War, said it now appears that Pyongyang is trying to help.

Australia, Belgium, France and the Philippines have yet to recover some of their war dead from North Korea.

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The officials say evidence, including satellite photos taken recently, suggests that construction is underway on one or two ICBMs. "Hope that those who are lost will yet be found. Hope that after so many years of questions, they will have closure".

The defense official, who discussed previously undisclosed aspects of the American service member remains on the condition of anonymity, according to reports, said it will "probably take months or even years to fully determine individual identities from the remains, which have not yet been confirmed by USA specialists to be those of American servicemen".

Pence said Trump was grateful Kim kept his word.

"We see today as tangible progress in our attempts to achieve peace, but today's just the beginning", Pence said.

But at their landmark meeting in Singapore, Mr Trump and Mr Kim agreed to work towards the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula". He declared that North Korea is "no longer a nuclear threat".

On the issue of sanctions, however, Trump has been adamant, stressing on numerous occasions that North Korea should not expect an easing of restrictions any time soon. "This is a facility where they build ICBMs and space-launch vehicles". But many experts say those are neither irrevocable nor serious steps that could show the country is honest about denuclearization.

Brooks, who is also the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, rendered the final salute to the fallen as the command transported 55 sets of remains to two C-17 military aircraft for their final flight home.

The US will now try to identify the remains through DNA testing and will resume the joint efforts with Pyongyang to continue searching for the 5,300 US servicemen believed to have been killed north of the 38th parallel during the Korean War.

More than 7,600 American servicemembers remain missing from the three-year war, which ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty.

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