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(2nd LD) U.S. troop remains airlifted to S. Korea from N. Korea

2018/07/27 11:39

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(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with pool report; CHANGES headline)

OSAN AIR BASE, July 27 (Joint press corps-Yonhap) -- A U.S. Air Force transport aircraft arrived here from North Korea, carrying the remains of service members killed in the Korean War.

The C-17 Globemaster left for Kalma Airport in the North's eastern coastal city of Wonsan, at 5:55 a.m. from Osan Air Base of the U.S. Forces Korea in Pyeongtaek, about 70 kilometers south of Seoul.

It showed up in the air over the base, flanked by two fighter jets, minutes before 11 a.m. and soon landed.

The U.S. did not reveal the number of remains, while informed sources said around 55 sets of remains in wooden boxes were repatriated.

The Defense POW (Prisoners of War)/MIA (Missing in Action) Accounting Agency is expected to inspect the remains again and hold a formal repatriation ceremony next Wednesday before sending the remains to a forensic lab in Hawaii.

The repatriation came on the day when the two Koreas and the United States mark the 65th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that halted the Cold War conflict.

It is part of the June 12 summit agreement between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on building new relations, making joint efforts to establish a "lasting and stable" peace regime, and pursuing the complete denuclearization of the peninsula.

sshluck@yna.co.kr

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