Scientists have identified two of the sets of remains of U.S. troops killed in the Korean War that were recently returned by North Korea, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said the United Nations delegation was led by US Air Force Major General Michael Minihan, who is chief of staff for the Command that fought alongside South Korea's troops during the war.
Mattis praised the work of those involved in the identification process and said it represents long-awaited closure form some families.
The identifications will chip away at the 7,699 US troops who the USA military says remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.
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The U.S. estimates that some 5,300 American soldiers' remains have yet to be recovered from North Korea. One of the deceased is presumed to be African-American. They have thus far analyzed DNA from about half of the boxes, with some remains in better condition than others.
She spoke above tables of bone fragments, still separated with numbers corresponding with the 55 boxes. The Defense Department laboratory in Hawaii is working to identify them.
But the next round of identifications might take longer and might be completed "right after Christmas", Byrd added. Her grandfather, now 90, is a survivor of the war who came from one of the areas of present-day North Korea that saw some of the heaviest fighting.
"It's really personal to me", Jin said. He also said that consultations are going on about the repatriation of more Korean War remains. The two nations are still technically at war, but hostilities ended following the signing of what was meant to be a temporary armistice in 1953.