The White House says in a statement Thursday night that a U.S. Air Force plane containing remains of fallen service members has departed Wonsan, North Korea, and is en route to Osan Air Base in South Korea.
Chris Murphy's tough questioning on whether North Korea agreed to the U.S. definition of denuclearization, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo affirmed that the North Koreans agreed to denuclearize according to a USA definition of denuclearization that was "not dissimilar to how the United Nations has characterized it, [or] how South Koreans have characterized it". The war killed millions, including 36,000 American soldiers.
"Today, the Chairman is fulfilling part of the commitment he made to the President to return our fallen American service members", the White House statement said.
There are thousands of Americans who remain unaccounted for after the war, which began when the North invaded the South in 1950.
Pyongyang has also accused the United States of delaying the process by making unilateral demands on denuclearization, urging South Korea to play a more active role in adopting a declaration of the Korean War this year. "Thank you to Kim Jong Un", the president wrote.
On the 65th anniversary of the Korean War, Pyongyang has handed over the remains of dozens of United States soldiers who died during the three-year-long conflict, the White House has confirmed.
The remains would later be flown to DPAA forensic labs in Hawaii for identifications that retired Air Force Maj.
Efforts to recover American war dead had been stalled for more than a decade because of a standoff over North Korea's nuclear program and a previous US claim that security arrangements for its personnel working in the North were insufficient.
"It is believed to have landed there an hour later", the official was quoted as saying.
The North Koreans scheduled a meeting with American officials for June 12 to discuss the delivery of the remains, but did not arrive in Panmunjom, leaving the Americans stranded. -North Korean searches at major battle sites in the North to recover more remains.
Washington considers the return of the remains an important gesture as it considers improving ties with North Korea should it denuclearize.
At the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Kansas City on Tuesday, he said, "I think the process is starting very soon, I hope". According to Vincent Brooks, US Commander of US Forces in Korea, nearly a year has passed without North Korea conducting a nuclear test. However, reviving it could complicate United States efforts to persuade countries around the world to maintain economic pressure on Pyongyang over its ballistic and nuclear programs.