North Korea remains 'likely to be American' - US agency

North Korea remains 'likely to be American' - US agency

Ahn Ik-san, the general leading the North Korean delegation at the military talks, noted South Korean news reports suggesting that he might try to persuade the South to push for a joint declaration with the USA to formally end the war.

"Kim committed in a broad summit statement to work towards denuclearisation, but Pyongyang has offered no details about how it might go about that".

The remains had been transferred from the small boxes they arrived in on Friday into full-sized caskets, draped with United Nations flags.

Between 1990 and 2005, 229 sets of remains were returned to the USA, but co-operation halted as relations deteriorated alongside the development of North Korea's nuclear programme.

The vice president spoke for a few minutes before the ceremony began, calling it "tangible progress in our efforts to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula". Our work will not be complete until all our fallen heroes are accounted for and home.

Numerous fallen service members died in North Korea and were buried by their comrades where they fell.

According to the USA official who spoke to Reuters, one photo showed a truck and covered trailer similar to those the North has used to move its ICBMs.

One dog tag was also returned, and the family of that soldier has been informed, but it has not been established whether his remains were among those returned, Byrd said.

The authenticity of the remains has been hailed as a gesture of good faith on the part of the North Korean leader.

It will possibly take months, if not years, to identify the remains handed over in 55 boxes.

There have also been reports that North Korea is operating a uranium enrichment facility in secret.

The meeting also saw officials discussing matters involving relations between North and South Korea, as well as regional issues. "Today our boys are coming home". "This should hasten identifications quite a bit".

American Veterans (AMVETS) National Commander Marion Polk said, "We are tremendously grateful to everyone who has worked so faithfully for so many years to locate and repatriate the remains of American service members who have fallen in battle all over the world".

"Problems such as inability to get DNA from bones and lack of a DNA reference sample from the family can be major stumbling blocks", said Chuck Prichard, director of public affairs for the Defense POW/MIA Personnel Accounting Agency, the USA military's main unit for finding and identifying missing members.

Remains handed over by North Korea last week are human and likely American, according to an official with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Some 5,300 are believed to be missing inside North Korea.

Gen. Kim Do Gyun, said the two sides had a common view in principle on disarming a jointly controlled area at Panmunjom, removing some guard posts from the Demilitarized Zone that bisects the countries, halting hostile acts along their disputed sea boundary, and conducting joint searches for soldiers missing from the 1950-53 Korean War in DMZ areas.

'Some have called the Korean War the forgotten war.

"For the warrior, this is a cherished duty, a commitment made to one another before going into battle and passed on from one generation of warriors to the next", said U.S. General Vincent Brooks, top commander of U.S. and United Nations forces in South Korea.

Major-General Kim Do Gyun, the South's chief negotiator in charge of North Korea policy at the Defence Ministry, told reporters he would make efforts to craft "substantive" measures to ease tensions and build trust.

But Washington then halted the program, citing concerns about the safety of its personnel as Pyongyang stepped up its nuclear program.

The agency identifies remains of servicemen killed in past conflicts.

A USA defense official said Tuesday that it probably will take months if not years to fully determine individual identities from the remains. "And hope that, as President Trump said just yesterday, these and others to follow will finally come home and be laid to rest in American soil".

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