Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Report: US Plane Leaves To Pick Up US War Remains in North Korea
bill-new-mug-002
By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 6 years ago on
July 27, 2018

Share

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — A U.S. military plane left from Osan Air Base for North Korea on Friday to pick up the remains of what are believed to be U.S. servicemen killed during the Korean War, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
The U.S. military and South Korean government couldn’t immediately confirm the report, which was based on an unnamed South Korean government source. But there were signs Friday morning of preparations to receive the remains at the base south of Seoul.
If a transfer takes place, Pyongyang will likely return about 55 sets of remains from the 1950-53 Korean War, a step meant to fulfill a commitment made by leader Kim Jong Un during his summit with President Donald Trump in June.

7,700 American MIAs From Korean War

About 7,700 U.S. soldiers are listed as missing from the Korean War, and 5,300 of the remains are believed to still be in North Korea. The war killed millions, including 36,000 American soldiers.
The remains would likely be flown out of an airport in the North Korean coastal city of Wonsan before returning to Osan.
Returning U.S. war remains was a rare tangible commitment Kim made during his meeting with Trump in Singapore, where they issued a vague aspirational goal for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing when and how that would occur.
Officials in North Korea had no immediate comment on the possible return of the remains on Friday, the 65th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, which the country celebrated as the day of “victory in the fatherland liberation war.”
The North marked the day with ceremonies at war-related memorials.

Recovery Efforts Had Been Long-Stalled

Efforts to recover American war dead had been stalled for more than a decade because of a standoff over North Korea’s nuclear program and a previous U.S. claim that security arrangements for its personnel working in the North were insufficient.
From 1996 to 2005, joint U.S.-North Korea military search teams conducted 33 recovery operations that collected 229 sets of American remains. The last time North Korea turned over remains was in 2007, when Bill Richardson, a former U.N. ambassador and New Mexico governor, secured the return of six sets.
Friday’s repatriation could be followed by strengthened North Korean demands for fast-tracked discussions with the United States on reaching a declaration to formally end the war, which was stopped with an armistice and not a peace treaty.
Post-summit talks between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean officials got off to a rocky start earlier this month, with the North accusing the Americans of making “unilateral and gangster-like” demands on denuclearization. The North also said U.S. officials came up with various “conditions and excuses” to backtrack on the issue of formally ending the war.
“The adoption of the declaration on the termination of war is the first and foremost process in the light of ending the extreme hostility and establishing new relations between the DPRK and the U.S.,” the North’s Korean Central News Agency said in a statement on Tuesday, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “Peace can come only after the declaration of the termination of war.”

Work Remains on Denuclearization Agreement

Pompeo said Wednesday that a great deal of work remains ahead of a North Korea denuclearization deal, but he dodged requests to identify a specific denuclearization timeline in testimony to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Experts say a declaration to officially end the war, which could also involve Seoul and Beijing, would make it easier for Pyongyang to direct the discussions with Washington toward a peace treaty, diplomatic recognition, security assurance and economic benefits. Some analysts believe that North Korea would eventually demand that the United States withdraw or dramatically reduce the 28,500 troops it keeps in South Korea as a deterrent.
Washington has maintained Pyongyang wouldn’t get sanctions relief and significant security and economic rewards unless it firmly commits to a process of completely and verifiably eliminating its nuclear weapons. There are lingering doubts on whether Kim would ever agree to fully relinquish his nukes, which he may see as a stronger guarantee of survival than whatever security assurance the United States could offer.

DON'T MISS

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

DON'T MISS

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

DON'T MISS

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

DON'T MISS

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

DON'T MISS

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

DON'T MISS

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

DON'T MISS

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

DON'T MISS

About 1 in 4 US Adults Over 50 Say They Expect to Never Retire, an AARP Study Finds

DON'T MISS

Biden Signs a $95 Billion War Aid Measure With Assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

DON'T MISS

Ancestry Website to Catalogue Names of Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

UP NEXT

Ancestry Website to Catalogue Names of Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

UP NEXT

Tent Compound Rises in Southern Gaza as Israel Prepares for Rafah Offensive

UP NEXT

A Far-Right German EU Lawmaker’s Aide Is Arrested on Suspicion of Spying for China

UP NEXT

Google Fires More Workers Who Protested Its Deal With Israel

UP NEXT

What Do Supreme Court Justices Say About Homelessness?

UP NEXT

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson Pledged $10M for Maui Wildfire Survivors. They Gave Much More.

UP NEXT

15 People Injured When Tram Collides With Guardrail at Universal Studios Theme Park

UP NEXT

Israel’s Military Intelligence Chief Resigns Over Failure to Prevent Hamas Attack on Oct. 7

UP NEXT

Aid Approval Brings Ukraine Closer to Replenishing Troops Struggling to Hold Front Lines

UP NEXT

The US is Expected to Block Aid to an Israeli Military Unit. What is Leahy Law That It Would Cite?

Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

Local Education /

4 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

4 hours ago

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

4 hours ago

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

5 hours ago

About 1 in 4 US Adults Over 50 Say They Expect to Never Retire, an AARP Study Finds

6 hours ago

Biden Signs a $95 Billion War Aid Measure With Assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

6 hours ago

Ancestry Website to Catalogue Names of Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

7 hours ago

First-Round Picks Could Be on the Trading Block on Day 1 of the NFL Draft

7 hours ago

Trojans Rejoice! Reggie Bush Is Reinstated as 2005 Heisman Trophy Winner

7 hours ago

Arizona Just Revived an 1864 Law Criminalizing Abortion. Here’s What’s Happening in Other States

7 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

GV Wire reporter Edward Smith explores a situation with KMPH Fox 26 “Great Day” anchor Jim De La Vega in which 22 construction workers haven...

24 mins ago

24 mins ago

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

36 mins ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

3 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

Local Education /
4 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

4 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

4 hours ago

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

5 hours ago

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

6 hours ago

About 1 in 4 US Adults Over 50 Say They Expect to Never Retire, an AARP Study Finds

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend