Pence receives possible remains of Americans killed in Korean War

Howard TerryAug 04, 2018

"Some have called the Korean War the 'forgotten war.' But today, we prove these heroes were never forgotten", Vice President Mike Pence said at a ceremony welcoming the remains, which were flown from South Korea earlier in the day.

Satellite images appear to indicate North Korea is possibly building two ICBMs at the same facility where the country produced its first long-range missiles, including the Hwasong-15 which make have the capability of hitting the U.S. East Coast, officials told The Washington Post Monday on condition of anonymity.

"Whosoever emerges from these aircraft today begins a new season of hope for the families of our missing fallen", Pence said. The remains will now undergo the process of being formally identified so that they could be returned to their families.

From the base, the remains will be taken to a laboratory in Hawaii for possible identification, with the goal of matching them with any of the 7,697 USA personnel who remain are unaccounted for after the Korean War. They set them gently on risers lined up inside the hangar as Pence stood watching with his hand over his heart. The lab is the largest and most diverse skeletal identification laboratory in the world and is staffed by more than 30 anthropologists, archaeologists and forensic odonatologists, United Nations Command release.

North and South Korea are likely to be a focal point of the Games, particularly amid recent doubts over Kim's promise to work towards denuclearisation made during a summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June.

These remains are presumed to be American, but many other nations fought in the Korean War, and it's possible the remains may come from one of those nations.

But forensics experts say that identifying the remains may take years, according to a report by New York Magazine on Wednesday.

An American military plane was able to enter North Korea on Friday to pick up the remains of the soldiers.

The repatriation is a breakthrough in a long-stalled USA effort to obtain war remains from North Korea. Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea unilaterally handed over 208 caskets to the USA, which turned out to contain remains of far more than 208 individuals, although forensics specialists thus far have established 181 identities. This is a historic day for our country and for our families who have suffered loss as we remember those who sacrificed all. As we wrote last week quoting the 38 North monitoring site, the North has reportedly begun dismantling that facility, which was used in part to test new liquid-fuel rocket engines. That could then allow the North to demand the pullout of 28,500 USA troops deployed in South Korea.

He said it was just the first step. But there have been worries that North Korea hasn't since taken any serious disarmament measures.

Trump also thanked Kim, posting his message to the North Korean dictator on Twitter last week. F-16s flew in formation over the ceremony to honor the missing soldiers who fought in the Korean War, before each casket was brought in by a van - six caskets at a time.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on July 15 that Washington and Pyongyang had agreed to recommence field operations in North Korea to search for the missing Americans.

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