Possible U.S. Remains Turned Over By North Korea Head To Hawaii For Analysis< < Back to
The purported remains of Americans who died in the Korean War are on their way to Hawaii, where they’ll be analyzed in hopes of providing a new sense of closure for families who lost loved ones in the war that ended with a cease-fire in 1953. But it could be weeks or years before the identities of any Americans are confirmed.
A U.S. military aircraft left North Korea last week carrying 55 boxes handed over by Kim Jong Un’s regime that are believed to contain the remains of U.S. service members.
While the provenance of the remains has not yet been confirmed, they’re being treated with the respect that’s traditionally accorded to fallen U.S. troops.
A formal repatriation ceremony took place in South Korea before the boxes were put on a flight to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. Vice President Pence will take part in an Honorable Carry Ceremony for the remains when they arrive on Wednesday.
From there, the remains will be taken to a laboratory in Hawaii for possible identification, with the goal of matching them with any of the 7,697 U.S. personnel who remain are unaccounted for after the Korean War.
The work will be carried out by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, which for years has been collecting DNA samples from families whose relatives never returned home from the Korean War.
North Korea has reportedly handed over only one military dogtag with the 55 boxes. The DPAA has not confirmed the accuracy of that claim, spokeswoman Kristen Duus told NPR’s Ailsa Chang.