US sends coffins to inter-Korean border for soldiers’ remains

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Seoul, June 23 (IANS) The US Army on Saturday sent 100 coffins to the inter-Korean border to bring back the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War (1950-1953).

The boxes are likely to be stored in the joint security area along the inter-Korean border before they are sent to North Korea in the coming days, Yonhap news agency reported, citing a US official in South Korea.

The US Army also dispatched 158 coffins from Yongsan base in Seoul to the Osan base in Gyeonggi province.

Sending back remains of the American soldiers was a part of the declaration signed during the June 12 summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore, in which they also agreed on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

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Last week, Trump had said in an interview to Fox News that the procedure for getting back the remains had started. More than 36,000 US troops had died in the Korean War and nearly 7,700 were reported missing.

Joint teams from the US and North Korea had recovered 229 bodies between 1996 and 2005. However, Washington suspended the search programme due to deterioration of ties between the two countries.

In 2007, Pyongyang had handed over six more bodies to the US.

Earlier this week, sources in the Pentagon said the remains, on reaching the US, would be taken to military installations in Nebraska or Hawaii for identification.

–IANS

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