OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (Reuters) – More than 50 boxes handed over by North Korea last week appear to hold human remains from the 1950-1953 Korean War and are likely American, according to an initial forensic analysis, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.
United Nations Command Chaplain U.S. Army Col. Sam Lee performs a blessing of sacrifice and remembrance on the 55 boxes of remains thought to be of U.S. soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, returned by North Korea to the U.S., at the Osan Air Base in South Korea, July 27, 2018. U.S. Army/ Sgt. Quince Lanford/Handout via REUTERS
“There is no reason to doubt that they do relate to Korean War losses,” John Byrd, a forensic anthropologist with the U.S. Department of Defense, told reporters at Osan air base in South Korea, just before the remains were due to be flown to Hawaii for further analysis and identification.
On Friday, an American military transport aircraft flew the remains from the North Korean city of Wonsan, a first step in implementing an agreement reached at a landmark summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump in June.
Reporting by Josh Smith; Editing by Nick Macfie