Soldiers’ Remains Return Home To US From North Korea

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

Vice President Mike Pence welcomed home Wednesday the presumed remains of U.S. soldiers, who fell in the Korean War, as they arrived in Hawaii.

The U.S. welcomed the remains, consisting of 55 boxes of as yet unidentified bones and one dog tag, in a solemn dignified carry ceremony, in which each flag covered box was carried off a cargo plane into a military base in Hawaii by one Marine, one airman, one soldier, and one sailor each. Pence spoke at the ceremony, hailing the remains as new hope for the families of the fallen and a sign of victory for President Donald Trump’s Singapore summit negotiations. (RELATED: North Korea Hands Over 55 Boxes Of Bones With Only One Dog Tag, Claims They Are Remains Of US Soldiers)

“Today, our boys are coming home,” Pence said, according to The Associated Press.

“Whosoever emerges from these aircraft, today begins a new season of hope for the families of our missing fallen,” he added, according to Reuters.

Pence also told families of the fallen that the U.S. government will not rest in its efforts to bring “every hero lost in the Korean War is home.” He asserted that this initial homecoming was also a sign of improving relations with and, perhaps, future peace in the Korean Peninsula.

“I know that President Trump is grateful that Chairman Kim has kept his word, and we see today this tangible progress in our efforts to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Pence said.

The remains will undergo in-depth forensic analysis at a military laboratory to determine which individuals the remains represent. Specialists have not yet determined whether the remains are those of U.S. soldiers, and the possibility exists that at least some of the remains may be those of soldiers of other nations who fought in Korean War. Details provided by North Korean officials concerning where the remains had rested allowed U.S. officials to match them to specific battles fought in the war.

“We don’t know who’s in those boxes,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said before the remains arrived in the U.S., according to The Associated Press.

“They could go to Australia. They have missing, France has missing, Americans have. There’s a whole lot of us. So, this is an international effort to bring closure for those families,” he added.

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