US Yet to Confirm Number of Remains Returned from N. Korea

Write : 2018-08-04 13:03:08 Update : 2018-08-04 13:10:34

US Yet to Confirm Number of Remains Returned from N. Korea

The U.S. says the exact number of remains of U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War repatriated by North Korea can only be known after thorough identification procedures. 

Speaking to reporters via video conference on Thursday local time, Dr. John Byrd, director for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) Laboratories, said it was unclear how many sets of remains were returned.

He said North Korea made it clear it was unable to verify the exact number while saying the remains contained in the 55 boxes are believed to be those of U.S. soldiers.

Byrd said the North was also not sure how many individuals were represented in each box. He said a single set of remains could be contained in two boxes.

A repatriation ceremony was held Wednesday at South Korea's Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek after which the remains were transferred to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii for identification.  

North Korea returned the remains last Friday, on the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War armistice, in line with agreements reached during the U.S.-North Korea summit in June. 

A Korean American doctor will lead the identification process at DPAA in Hawaii. 

The DPAA said that Dr. Jenny Jin will be in charge of the Korean War Project.

The 39-year-old forensic anthropologist studied archeology in Seoul and finished her master's and doctorate studies in anthropology in the U.S. 

She was involved in human excavation projects around the world before joining the U.S. agency that preceded the current DPAA in 2010.

[Photo : KBS News]

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