North Korea repatriated the remains of 200 U.S. soldiers missing from the Korean War on Wednesday, according to President Trump, a week after the issue was raised at a landmark summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“We got back our great fallen heroes, the remains sent back today, already 200 got sent back,” Trump told a rally in Duluth, Minnesota Wednesday, according to Reuters.
There was no official confirmation of the return from military sources, but anonymous U.S. officials said the previous day that North Korea was returning a “sizable number” of remains, which would be transported to Hawaii’s Hickam Air Force Base, Reuters reports.
In a press conference following a historic U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore last week, Trump said that Kim agreed to return the remains of deceased American soldiers “quickly.” The recovery of war dead was also included in the agreement signed by the two leaders at the summit’s conclusion.
Nearly 7,700 American military service-people are still unaccounted for from the Korean War, according to the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, of which approximately 5,300 are thought to be in North Korean territory. The war lasted from 1950 to 1953 and ended in an armistice rather than a permanent peace treaty.
Between 1990 and 2005, North Korea returned 229 caskets containing the remains of American soldiers, and repatriated another six soldiers in 2007. In 2015, North Korea returned the remains of Robert V. Witt, an American soldier who was taken prisoner and died of malnutrition in Jan. 1951, after his identity was confirmed with DNA tests.