Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Remains of foreign soldiers 'likely to be American': US agency

Trump administration: North Korea missile moves don't undermine peace push North Korea: 'Our Society Is the Best in the World'
Ellis Copeland | 02 August, 2018, 04:42

"I don't think North Korea is refusing to give dog tags when it has more but it probably doesn't have dog tags lying around", he said.

While the provenance of the remains has not yet been confirmed, they're being treated with the respect that's traditionally accorded to fallen US troops.

Two family members of Americans missing in action in North Korea during the Korean War, Diana Brown Sanfilippo and Rick Downes, also flew with the Vice President on Air Force Two for the event.

The remains were transferred by North Korea last week, the first tangible moves from agreements reached between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their meeting in Singapore on June 12.

US officials have for years warned that Pyongyang was developing nuclear warheads small enough to fit atop an ICBM capable of reaching the USA mainland. The commander of US Forces Korea, General Vincent Brooks, said at the recent Aspen Security Forum that North Korea's "production capability is still intact".

After a solemn ceremony at the USA military's Osan Air Base in South Korea, 55 boxes of remains draped in the United Nations flag were taken to a US military plane, which will then take them to a military laboratory in Hawaii for further analysis and identification.

Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the return of the 55 boxes was a good step but not a guarantee that the bones are American.

Past remains have been found to be co-mingled and in at least one case contained animal bones.

It's a homecoming sixty years in the making on Wednesday for Americans lost in the Korean War.

"We don't know who will come off these planes today".

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"There's a whole lot of us". Gen. Kelly McKeague, director of the DPAA, said in a statement to the National League of POW/MIA Families that he expects joint recovery operations could begin in the spring.

The North Koreans collected the remains, and USA investigators will have to do the examination without the forensic information they normally would have, such as the approximate place of the burial and the conditions around it.

After an April 2017 meeting at the president's Mar-a-Lago home, Xi supported successive rounds of United Nations sanctions and clamped down on border trade with North Korea.

The remains will undergo a lengthy forensics process at the military lab, which is staffed by more than 30 anthropologists, archaeologists and forensic odontologists.

"We look forward to potentially pursuing [recovery] operations in North Korea in the future and we're very hopeful", he said.

Pompeo, at the Senate hearing last week, sought to assure lawmakers that the disarmament talks with North Korea remained on track and that the effort to dismantle the country's nuclear arsenal was just getting underway.

The meeting, their second since last month, held in the border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ), was created to follow on from an inter-Korean summit in April in which the leaders of the two Koreas agreed to defuse tensions and halt "all hostile acts".

Citing unnamed officials familiar with the intelligence, the USA daily said that newly obtained evidence, including satellite photos taken in recent weeks, suggests that North Koreans were working on at least one and possibly two liquid-fueled ICBMs at a large research facility in Sanumdong on the outskirts of Pyongyang.

That was the latest in a series of reports casting doubt on whether the communist state is truly committed to abandoning its hard-won nuclear weapons. It has in the past two years quickly advanced its nuclear programme.

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