White House: N. Korea returns remains of American soldiers

North Korea Will Transfer Remains Of US Soldiers Who Died In Korean War Friday

Rick Downes, executive director of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, said on Facebook that the group was pleased by the news and said he hoped it was a signal that more American soldiers could be brought home beginning next year. North Korea has recently started dismantling a missile-engine test site, as Trump said Kim promised he would during their summit meeting.

"As far as the Trump administration's goals on North Korea are concerned, nothing has changed", he said.

The Air Force C-17 aircraft left the coast city of Wonsan and is en route to Osan Air Base in South Korea, roughy 43 miles south of Seoul, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Fifty-five cases containing what were believed to be the remains of US servicemen killed during the Korean War were returned Friday, the White House said.

USA defence officials are expected to examine the remains in South Korea before sending them on for forensic identification in Hawaii, the agency added.

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While the North views such an agreement as an American security guarantee, Washington has insisted that Pyongyang must demonstrate its own commitment to abandoning nuclear weapons - especially as a peace treaty would likely weaken the us military position on the peninsula.

On the 65th anniversary of the Korean War, Pyongyang has handed over the remains of dozens of United States soldiers who died during the three-year-long conflict, the White House has confirmed. After several meetings, and at least one in which North Korean officials simply failed to meet their American counterparts, American officials reportedly feel confident the transfer will happen.

Fifty-five sets of remains thought to be fallen USA servicemembers have been repatriated from North Korea, according to United Nations Command. At a press conference, Trump said he wanted to stop USA military exercises with South Korea and eventually withdraw United States troops - something Pyongyang has been demanding for years.

South Korea also said it plans to cut the number of troops from 618,000 to 500,000 by 2020 and the number of generals from 436 to 360 as part of military reforms.

U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, in a statement from the U.N. Command, called the retrieval mission successful.

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An estimated 5,300 USA troops are still unaccounted for in North Korea.

Trump has hailed his summit agreement with Kim as effectively ending the North Korean nuclear threat, although it contained only an ill-defined commitment on Pyongyang's part to the "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" - a long way from the complete, verifiable and irreversible disarmament demanded by Washington. However, he said Kim needed to follow through on his summit commitments to denuclearise. In exchange, Trump agreed to provide "security guarantees" to Pyongyang.

"The Remains of American Servicemen will soon be leaving North Korea and heading to the United States!" Washington halted those operations, citing concerns about the safety of its personnel as Pyongyang stepped up its nuclear programme.

Officials from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in Hawaii were expected to be in South Korea to assist with the return of the remains.

"It is believed to have landed there an hour later", the official was quoted as saying.

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