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Remains of 55 American soldiers killed during Korean War flown to Hawaii

Remains of 55 American soldiers killed during Kore

On August 1, the United Nations Command (UNC) held a repatriation ceremony at Osan U.S. Air Base for the return of 55 sets of the remains of American soldiers who had been killed during the Korean War. The remains were retrieved from North Korea on July 27.


The ceremony took place at the hangar of the U.S. 7th Air Force Command Base located in Osan and was attended by UNC Commander Vincent Brooks and some 500 military officials from Republic of Korea, including National Defense Minister, Song Young-moo, and from the United States, including U.S. Ambassador to Republic of Korea, Harry Harris.


After the ceremony, the remains were placed in metal caskets and stored on a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport aircraft to be flown to the Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.


The repatriation is a follow-up to the June 12th summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, in Singapore.


The U.S. and North Korea held general-level and working-level talks at Panmunjeom on July 15 and 16, respectively, to discuss the details of the return of the remains. The two sides agreed on the repatriation to take place on July 27, the anniversary of the signing of the armistice.


“An estimated 629 sets of the remains of American soldiers have been recovered from North Korea since 1990. The remains to be repatriated this time will be flown to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory for identification. Those remains identified as belonging to American soldiers will be handed over to the bereaved families in the United States while those of soldiers from other U.N. countries that participated in the Korean War will be repatriated to their respective homelands," a UNC official said.


The UNC announced at a press release on that day, “American citizens have never forgotten their fellow soldiers who died or remained missing in the Korean War. The people of the 16 countries that sent troops to the UNC have also never forgotten their soldiers who did not return home. The UNC will never give up searching for these dead and missing soldiers until their families can completely recover from their long and agonizing wait.” The UNC stated:


" With much respect, we have collected the remains of those soldiers killed in the Korean War and are doing our best at forensic identification. The remains repatriated from North Korea are being treated with the greatest respect by professional historians, forensic scientists, soldiers, and government officials.”


The UNC estimates that about 5,000 sets of the remains of American soldiers are still in the Korean War’s main battlefields, such as the Jangjinho Combat region (1,024 sets), Unsan and Cheongcheon combat regions (1,495 sets), and the Demilitarized Zone (about 1,000 sets), as well as areas with prisoner-of-war enclosures (about 1,200 sets).




By Chul-Hwan, Kim < >

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