Trump receives letter from N.K. leader: White House

Trump receives letter from N.K. leader: White House

The audience, which was made up by Vice President Mike Pence and Korean War veterans, watched as each of the American flag draped caskets was offloaded and brought into Hanger 19.

The White House says President Donald Trump has received a letter from North Korea's Kim Jong Un, following up on the two leaders' June summit in Singapore.

Meanwhile, 38 North, a United States website monitoring the regime, said last month that satellite imagery pointed to the dismantlement of a missile engine testing site in line with Kim's verbal promise to Trump at the summit. Today, our boys are coming home.

Iran, whose nuclear drive has also sparked worldwide alarm, and North Korea are reported to have a history of cooperation in military and missile technology. U.S. Marines also fought in the famous battle, but mainly along the reservoir's western side.

Still, an initial field forensic review indicated the "remains are what North Korea said they were", John Byrd, director of analysis for the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, told reporters at an air base in South Korea before the remains were flown to Hawaii.

Byrd cautioned that the 55 boxes did not necessarily equate to the remains of 55 individuals.

McKeague declined to reveal the name on the dog tag. Vice-President Mike Pence and USA military leaders received the remains in Hawaii during a sombre ceremony on Wednesday.

Investigators will also use dental records and chest x-rays to further analyze the remains for a possible identification.

North Korea is working on new missiles
The good news, from Trump's standpoint, is that it will take years to definitively identify the remains. The remains of close to 5,000 US soldiers have yet to be recovered from North Korea.

"A letter to President Trump from Chairman Kim was received on August 1", said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

To work on the additional remains the team of DPAA researchers assigned to identifying the remains of Korean War missing will almost double in size from five to nine. Despite the summit pledge McKeague said it wasn't until July 15 that North Korea notified the United Nations that it would transfer 55 boxes of remains.

Byrd said his laboratory in Hawaii already has begun working on the remains.

McKeague said he was "guardedly optimistic" that the repatriation would be the "first step of others to account for our missing from the Korean War". The correspondence came amid fresh concerns over Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization.

Byrd was present when North Korean officials turned over the 55 boxes at Wonsan airport in North Korea last Friday, and he was among the USA government specialists who made a further preliminary examination of the contents after the boxes were flown to Osan air base in South Korea the same day.

"I would go back in an instant if we were asked to", said Byrd who participated in numerous earlier search missions.

A USA defense official told VOA North Korea has provided nearly no information to help identify the individuals, and that the process could take months or years to complete.

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