Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

UN Command chief talks to North Koreans about troop remains

UN Command chief talks to North Koreans about troop remains

The U.S. has identified two American troops among the boxes of human remains that were returned from North Korea earlier this year, Reuters reported Monday.

"We have identified a couple of the remains, the families for the remains, coming out of Korea", Mattis told reporters Tuesday at the Pentagon.

He confirmed two sets of remains were identified and further identification efforts are underway.

North Korea returned 55 boxes of remains as part of a denuclearization agreement reached between its leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump at their Singapore summit in June.

Byrd said the names will be announced publicly once the family is notified, the report said.

Richard Downes, whose father, Air Force Lt. Hal Downes, is among the Korean War missing, said this turnover of remains, having drawn worldwide attention, has the potential to put the USA back on track to finding and eventually identifying many more.

The Pentagon estimates that of the approximately 7,700 U.S. MIAs from the Korean War, about 5,300 are unaccounted for on North Korean soil.

A small group of journalists was given access on Monday to a secure facility on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, where forensic anthropologists are combing through the remains handed over by Pyongyang in July.

"The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified", the declaration reads.

Byrd acknowledged that it could take months for the next round of identifications.

Nevertheless, according to the U.S, the identifications process is anticipated to chip away at least 7,699 US troops who remain unaccounted for in the Korean War.

On Monday, the Pentagon said United Nations military officials met with North Korean counterparts last week to discuss the repatriation of additional remains.

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