U.S. sends coffins to N. Korea border to retrieve war remains

U.S. sends coffins to N. Korea border to retrieve war remains

June 23 (UPI) — The U.S. Defense Department has sent 100 coffins to the North Korean border in preparation to receive remains of U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War from 1950-53, according to the United Nations.

The U.N. Command’s public affairs office said “100 wooden temporary transit cases” that had been built in Seoul were transported to the Joint Security Area, which is a series of blue meeting houses within the demilitarized zone.

“We are ready to receive remains and be able to transport them in a dignified manner,” the U.N. Command’s public affairs office told Stars and Stripes and Military Times.

No date has been set for the return of the U.S. remains.

U.S. President Donald Trump got North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to agree to their return during a summit on June 12 in Singapore.

Army Gen. Vincent Brooks, of the United Nations Command and U.S. Forces-Korea commander, will formally receive the remains at Osan, South Korea, from civilian drivers. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency will drape the coffins with American flags and prepare them for transit to the United States.

The remains will be identified at a forensics lab in Hawaii.

The United States has prepared 158 metal coffins for the flight home.

The agency previously said that North Korea has informed officials they have many as 200 sets of U.S. remains from the Korean War.

More than 36,000 U.S. troops died in the war and 7,702 are missing in action, including 5,300 believed to be missing in the North, according to the agency.

In 2007, the last repatriation, then-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson traveled to Pyongyang, North Korea, to retrieve six sets of remains.