Agency Begins Process of Identifying Korean War Remains

The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur
The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Author

02 August, 2018

Experts say positively identifying the decades-old remains could take anywhere from days to decades.

How will the remains be identified?

Typically, the agency's forensic anthropologists study any evidence found with the remains for clues, such as military uniforms, identification tags and personal items like wedding rings. Six boxes were given to then-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi on a trip to the North.

Vice President Mike Pence, whose father fought in the Korean War, was scheduled to attend an "honorable carry ceremony" at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to mark the arrival of the remains on USA soil.

"It is Kim doing exactly what he said he was going to do".

The remains were then moved in gray vans to an airfield where USA and South Korean soldiers loaded them one by one into two transport planes. Four U.S. fighter jets flew low in a tribute.

The 55 boxes, draped in the blue and white flag of the United Nations, are each small enough to be carried in one person's arms.

Former DPAA official Jeong Yang-seung, who previously worked on identifying USA remains from the North, said it was unusual to locate dog tags during the search and recovery process.

United States intelligence officials familiar with Pyongyang's operations say that new evidence, including recent satellite photos, suggests that the regime is producing at least one liquid-fueled ICBM at the Sanumdong research facility, near Pyongyang. The official did not know details about the single dog tag, including the name on it or whether it was even that of an American military member.

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The repatriation is a breakthrough in a long-stalled US effort to obtain war remains from North Korea.

United Nations honor guards carry a casket containing remains transferred by North Korea onto a plane at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Wednesday.

A new report suggests that North Korea has continued to build new missiles, despite ongoing talks with the Trump administration. There were estimated 5,300 Americans who did not return home from the conflict.

"Work on the new missile likely began after the summit", one source told The Diplomat, referring to the June 12 meeting between U.S. President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Indonesian authorities have invited North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games, which will run from August 18 until September 2 in Jakarta and Palembang.

Besides reducing the amount of troops and weapons they are armed with, McBride said talks about the disputed sea border between North and South Korea could also be on the agenda.

Bruce Bennett, a senior Rand Corporation researcher, said North Korea's recent moves are a way pressuring Washington for sanctions concessions.

What are experts saying about this? -North Korea relations last week but cautioned against assuming the remains are definitely Americans. The clavicle and teeth offer some of the best comparison to the personnel file the Department of Defense keeps of missing servicemen, said Cole, author of the book "POW/MIA Accounting: Searching for America's Missing Servicemen in the Soviet Union".

More than 7,600 American servicemembers remain missing from the three-year war, which ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty. Indeed, the commitments regarding its nuclear weapons program were so vague as to be nearly meaningless, in my view.


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