N. Korea returns US war remains

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Washington, July 27 (IANS) North Korea has returned remains believed to be of US troops killed during the Korean War, the latest move in the cautious diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang.

A US military aircraft took the remains to an American base in South Korea, the BBC reported.

This will be welcomed by relatives who have waited decades to be reunited with the remains of their loved ones.

“Thousands of soldiers from the US air base and their families are lining the route to welcome the fallen soldiers home. Over 5,000 US soldiers remain unaccounted for in North Korea after the war. The remains will be tested to check they are Americans,” Laura Bicker of BBC tweeted.

The repatriation was agreed at the June summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

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It comes on the 65th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Thousands of US military personnel from the conflict remain unaccounted for and most of them — about 5,300 — were lost in what is now North Korea.

It is unclear exactly how many remains have been returned this time and they will need to be forensically tested to ensure they are of slain US soldiers, the BBC report said.

The White House statement said the US government was “encouraged by North Korea’s actions and the momentum for positive change”.

The US military aircraft took the remains to the Osan Base where a repatriation ceremony will be held on August 1.

More than 326,000 Americans fought alongside soldiers from South Korea and a UN coalition during the Korean War from 1950-53 to support the South against the Communist North.

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The missing US soldiers are among around 33,000 coalition troops still unaccounted for.

–IANS

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