This was a promise North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made to President Donald Trump when the leaders met in June and is the first tangible result from the much-hyped summit. Trump welcomed the repatriation and thanked Kim in a tweet. A formal repatriation ceremony will be held there Wednesday. About 7,700 US soldiers are listed as missing from the 1950-53 Korean War, and 5,300 of the remains are believed to still be in North Korea. The war killed millions, including 36,000 American soldiers. The vast majority of the war dead, however, have yet to be located and retrieved from cemeteries and battlefields across the countryside.
North Korea has held out the return of remains as a symbol of its goodwill and intention to improve ties with Washington. Following the honors ceremony on Wednesday, the remains will be flown to Hawaii for scientific testing. Trump late Thursday tweeted the repatriation was occurring and said, “After so many years, this will be a great moment for so many families. Thank you to Kim Jong Un.” Other benefits of the Trump – Kim Jong Un meeting are expected. South Korea’s Defense Ministry also said the North agreed to general-level military talks next week at a border village to discuss reducing tensions across the countries’ heavily armed border.