National Security & Defense

Trump Announces Return of U.S. Troop Remains from North Korea

A soldier carries a casket containing the remains of a U.S. soldier who was killed in the Korean War during a ceremony at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, July 27, 2018. (REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Pool)

The remains of some of the American troops killed in the Korean War are on a plane back to the U.S., President Trump announced on Friday.

“At this moment a plane is carrying the remains of some great fallen heroes from America back from the Korean War,” the president stated during a speech at the White House addressing the economy. “They’re coming back to the United States.”

Vice President Mike Pence will greet the families assembled to collect their loved ones’ remains.

“I want to thank Chairman Kim in front of the media for fulfilling a promise that he made to me,” Trump continued. “We have many others coming. These incredible American heroes will soon lay at rest on sacred American soil.”

Trump recalled family members of fallen troops approaching him during the campaign asking him if he could bring home the remains of their loved ones.

An American transport plane departed from South Korea to pick up the remains in the North, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap. On Thursday the White House confirmed that the Air Force C-17 aircraft was returning from Wonsan, North Korea, and bringing the remains to Osan Air Base in South Korea.

“Today, the Chairman is fulfilling part of the commitment he made to the President to return our fallen American service members,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “We are encouraged by North Korea’s actions and the momentum for positive change.”

The United Nations Command reported that the U.S. will receive the remains of 55 of the estimated 5,300 U.S. soldiers who did not return home from the Korean War. The fallen troops will be honored with a repatriation ceremony on August 1.

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