The remains of U.S. servicemen killed during the Korean War were returned on Friday, according to the White House. Fifty-five cases containing those remains, each draped with the flag of the United Nations, arrived on a U.S. military plane at Osan Air Base outside Seoul, South Korea on Friday. Earlier, the plane and its crew had traveled to Wonsan, North Korea, to collect the remains, the White House said.
The transfer of the remains from the 1950-53 Korean War was a part of the negotiation last month during a summit meeting in Singapore between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
President Donald Trump tweeted about the return of the remains late Thursday, just as the transfer mission was getting underway.
“The Remains of American Servicemen will soon be leaving North Korea and heading to the United States! After so many years, this will be a great moment for so many families. Thank you to Kim Jong Un,” the president wrote.
The Remains of American Servicemen will soon be leaving North Korea and heading to the United States! After so many years, this will be a great moment for so many families. Thank you to Kim Jong Un.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2018
About 7,700 U.S. soldiers are listed as missing from the 1950-53 Korean War, and 5,300 of the remains are believed to still be in North Korea. Millions of lives were lost in the war, including 36,000 American soldiers.
Officials in North Korea did not comment on the handover on Friday. It was the 65th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, which the country celebrated as the day of “victory in the fatherland liberation war.”
Earlier Thursday, the White House released a statement confirming details about the transfer of the remains.
“At their historic meeting in Singapore, President Donald J. Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un took a bold first step to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, transform relations between the United States and North Korea, and establish enduring peace,” the statement said. “Today, the Chairman is fulfilling part of the commitment he made to the President to return our fallen American service members. We are encouraged by North Koreas actions and the momentum for positive change.”
Statement from the Press Secretary on the Repatriation of Remains from North Korea https://t.co/eE5k5NmlNH
— Public Pool (@WHPublicPool) July 27, 2018