Promises Kept: Remains of U.S. soldiers coming home from North Korea

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

July 26, 2018

At their historic meeting in Singapore, President Donald J. Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un took a bold first step to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, transform relations between the United States and North Korea, and establish enduring peace. Today, the Chairman is fulfilling part of the commitment he made to the President to return our fallen American service members. We are encouraged by North Koreas actions and the momentum for positive change.

A U.S. Air Force C-17 aircraft containing remains of fallen service members has departed Wonsan, North Korea. It is accompanied by service members from United Nations Command Korea and technical experts from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. The C-17 is transferring the remains to Osan Air Base, where a formal repatriation ceremony will be held on August 1.

The United States owes a profound debt of gratitude to those American service members who gave their lives in service to their country and we are working diligently to bring them home. It is a solemn obligation of the United States Government to ensure that the remains are handled with dignity and properly accounted for so their families receive them in an honorable manner.

Today’s actions represent a significant first step to recommence the repatriation of remains from North Korea and to resume field operations in North Korea to search for the estimated 5,300 Americans who have not yet returned home.

 

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4 Responses to Promises Kept: Remains of U.S. soldiers coming home from North Korea

  1. Menagerie says:

    Eternal rest grant unto them oh Lord. May the souls of the faithful departed Rest In Peace.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. czarowniczy says:

    Sort of went a bit overboard next door on this topic but one of the high points in my career was getting to review a slug of the Korean War POW intel debriefs in the late 90s at the time they were being pulled out of the old Army ASA vaults to be sent to the National Archives.
    The POWs were brought home on ships and CI agents spent a long time interviewing each one in depth and in detail. One of the topics was where missing military persons were last seen and body disposition in the camps and on the death masrches to/between camps.
    A Navy Captain and I were sat in a room with boxs of files and a mid-90s ‘portable computer’ (his personal one as the DPMO didn’t have one to lend us). We read POW debriefs from about 8AM well past midnight some days, until 9 PM on most, scouring records for info on MIAs and POWs who’d died in the camps. Our data, along with that of other teams, was consolidated into a database the DPOM could use to locate potential search sites on those brief occasions the NK allowed us to look for remains.
    The one site thst still stays with me was a camp right up on the Yalu. The camp was in NK but right across the vriver was an unused bunker, the Chinese would take dead POWs across to that bunker and toss them in there. We reported the bunker and found some names of POW MIAs that had been disposed of there. Every time I hear about remains being repatriated I wonder if they’d gotten the Chinese to open the bunker. With the word that over 50 remains are being repatriated in one move I can’t help but wonder if the NK gave up a camp grave yard or two…or perhaps our bunker.
    I contacted my Senator’s DoD POC this morning and explained the whole deal to him and how I’m anxious to hear where exactly these MIAs are from. So far they aren’t even back so details are few but he promised to let me know as soon as he can pry the info out of DPAA. This would be one of the few things in my career I could actually see as a complete item and helping bring back any MIA to an American resting spot would be the highlight.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Col.(R) Ken says:

      Your A better man than I Czar. After reading those stories, pinpointing locations, I would go North hunting.

      Liked by 2 people

      • czarowniczy says:

        No, just damned lucky to have been in the right place at the right time when they asked for volunteers. We received no-pay orders to do the job, we flew out of Keesler space-A on the Andrews medical flight, rented to car out-of-pocket and stayed at transient billits.
        To get bto hold those records in hand and get the true version of what happened (they lied to us quite a bit about that) was a once in a lifetime chance.
        We have a few Korean War POWs, fewer now than a few years back, at our American Legion. I talk with one every now and then, bump into them at Walmart, and they’re surtprised someone younger (yeah,’younger’) knows about the camps and the death marches. Fewer and fewer of them- and us – daily.

        Like

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