Coffins at DMZ to collect US service members’ remains from North Korea
The U.S. military said Saturday it was moving 100 caskets to the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, to receive the remains of U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War.
The cases will remain in the border village of Panmunjom for a few days until being sent into North Korea so the North can begin the process of returning the remains of Americans who were killed or died during the 1950s conflict, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.
According to the agency tasked with overseeing issues POW/MIA issues, North Korea has as many as 200 sets of remains ready to be returned.
The return of the remains was negotiated during President Donald Trump’s preparations for his June 12 historic summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
U.S. Forces Korea spokesman Col. Chad Carrol denied a detail of the Yonhap report, which stated that U.S. military vehicles carrying more than 200 caskets were planning to cross into North Korea on Saturday.
Carroll said in an email that the U.S.-led U.N. Command was moving “assets” to a U.S. air base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, south of Seoul, and to the Joint Security Area at the border to prepare for the process.
No official return has been set and its not exactly clear when the repatriation will occur, Stars and Stripes reported.
President Trump has also promised to cease joint military exercises between U.S. troops and South Korea, which the North has long regarded as a provocation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.