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2 more U.S. service members’ remains ID’ed in North Korea handover

14 September 2018

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii-The U.S. has identified the remains of two service members among the 55 boxes returned by North Korea this summer, officials from the Defense POW/MIA Accountability Agency said Monday.

"One of the reasons that we were able to identify them so quickly [was because their remains] were more complete than usual so it gave us more to look at and narrow down the identity with", Byrd told The Wall Street Journal.

"The IDs will be made officially in the next couple of days", said John Byrd, the director of scientific analysis at the US Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

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The US has successfully identified two American service members from among the remains North Korea returned this July as part of the agreement signed by President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Mattis says talks are ongoing with North Korea to get additional remains repatriated. Of those, around 5,300 American casualties are still believed to be in North Korea.

Nevertheless, according to the U.S, the identifications process is anticipated to chip away at least 7,699 USA troops who remain unaccounted for in the Korean War.

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Forensic anthropologists have been examining the remains at a facility on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Reuters reported.

Sampling for DNA analysis has been carried out so far on about half of the boxes of remains, they said.

Other tables included personal objects from soldiers that don't have any identification on them, including buttons, canteens and old boots. He also said that consultations are going on about the repatriation of more Korean War remains.

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The July transfer coincided with the 65th anniversary of the 1953 armistice that ended fighting between North Korean and Chinese forces and South Korean and US -led forces under the U.N. Command.

2 more U.S. service members’ remains ID’ed in North Korea handover