President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday to thank North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the return of suspected remains of fallen U.S. service members, commending the “kind action” and saying he looked forward to seeing the chairman again soon.
Last week, North Korea handed over what is believed to be the remains of 55 U.S. soldiers who died during the 1950-1953 Korean War, following through on an agreement made between the two leaders at their historic Singapore Summit in June. It was the first repatriation of remains since 2005.
According to officials, North Korea returned the 55 boxes of remains with only a single military dog tag and no other information that could help forensics specialists to identify the remains, the Associated Press reports.
The remains were retrieved by a U.S. military aircraft from a seaside city in North Korea and brought to Osan Air Base outside of Seoul. The return coincided with the 65th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.
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 Korea.
The Trump Administration has lauded Pyongyang’s return of fallen servicemen as a successful outcome of the summit, at which a four-point agreement was reached between the two leaders. Other items on their joint memorandum, such as a pledge to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” remain unaddressed.
Trump’s conciliatory tone stands in stark contrast to his rhetoric just last year, when he referred to the North Korean leader as a “little rocket man” in response to Pyongyang’s recent ballistic missile tests.
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