By Devin Watkins
US President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday to thank North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the repatriation of the remains of US war dead, calling it a “great moment for so many families.”
North Korea on Friday returned 55 small, flag-draped cases carrying the suspected remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean War.
A US military transport plane made a rare trip to an airfield in the city of Wonsan to retrieve the remains. They were taken to Osan air base in South Korea on Friday.
Soldiers in dress uniforms were seen carrying the cases covered with the blue-and-white United Nations insignia, putting them into vans parked on the tarmac in Osan.
A White House press statement said: “We are encouraged by North Korea’s actions and the momentum for positive change.”
A formal repatriation ceremony will be held at Osan next Wednesday, according to the statement. They will then be flown to Hawaii for further processing under the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
Friday marked the 65th anniversary of the 1953 armistice agreement that ended fighting, though the two Koreas are still technically at war since a peace treaty was never signed.
The repatriation is seen as a goodwill gesture on the part of North Korea, following the summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in June.
Kim promised at the summit to renew efforts to repatriate American soldier’s remains following more than a decade lapse in the program.