PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — The Latest on U.S. war remains returned by North Korea (all times local):
A U.S. military plane has returned from North Korea and landed at Osan Air Base in South Korea after reportedly picking up the remains of what are believed to be U.S. servicemen killed during the Korean War.
An Associated Press journalist at the base outside the capital Seoul saw the plane land Friday, and the White House earlier confirmed that North Korea has turned over the potential remains.
Details were still sketchy but reports said that Pyongyang would return about 55 sets of remains from the 1950-53 Korean War, a step meant to fulfill a commitment made by leader Kim Jong Un during his summit with President Donald Trump in June.
About 7,700 U.S. soldiers are listed as missing from the Korean War, and 5,300 of the remains are believed to still be in North Korea. The war killed millions, including 36,000 American soldiers.
The White House says North Korea has turned over the potential remains of American service members who have been missing since the Korean war, following through on a promise made last month to President Donald Trump.
The White House says in a statement Thursday night that a U.S. Air Force plane containing remains of fallen service members has departed Wonsan, North Korea, and is en route to Osan Air Base in South Korea.
The transfer of remains represents one of the first tangible results of Trump’s June 12 summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It sets off a lengthy series of forensic examinations and tests to determine if the remains are human, and whether they are actually American or allied troops killed in the conflict.
A U.S. military plane left from Osan Air Base for North Korea on Friday to pick up the remains of what are believed to be U.S. servicemen killed during the Korean War, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
The U.S. military and South Korean government couldn’t immediately confirm the report, which was based on an unnamed South Korean government source. But there were signs Friday morning of preparations to receive the remains at the base south of Seoul.
If a transfer takes place, Pyongyang will likely return about 55 sets of remains from the 1950-53 Korean War, a step meant to fulfill a commitment made by leader Kim Jong Un during his summit with President Donald Trump in June.