Trump received letter from North Korea's Kim on August 1 - White House

Trump thanks North Korea’s Kim for returning war remains ‘I look forward to seeing you soon

The remains were retrieved by a US military aircraft from a seaside city in North Korea and brought to Osan Air Base outside of Seoul.

Gen. Kelly McKeague, the DPAA director, Byrd said his initial examination of the remains, and his discussions with the North Koreans, led him to believe that further analysis will show that the remains are those of Americans.

USA officials have been closely watching North Korea's willingness to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Many nations fought in the Korean War, but war artifacts that came with the remains - such as buttons, belts, canteens and boots - point to the bones being American, he said.

Trump also took to Twitter earlier to praise an "incredibly handsome ceremony" in Hawaii, where Vice President Mike Pence helped welcome the remains to the United States.

The returned remains are associated with the fight at what was called the "Frozen Chosin" for the sub-zero temperatures in which Marine and Army units fought their way out of encirclement by Chinese forces and were evacuated by sea, said Dr. John Byrd, a forensic anthropologist.

More than 5,300 USA troops are still missing in North Korea.

"Given the fact that the North Koreans reaffirmed that commitment to Secretary Pompeo last month, we fully expect that there might be an environment in which case they would be open to sitting down to negotiate", he said.

McKeague said North Korea did not receive any payment for the transfer this week.

"Looking back on it, I would say it was challenging but very successful", said Byrd, who took part in the joint field operations that stretched from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s.

He said numerous recovered remains likely belonged to U.S. Army soldiers who fought in the November, 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir - 1,024 Americans are still missing from that battle. He said that DPAA has chest radiographs for about three-quarters of the missing from the Korean War.

The scientist said the remains were consistent with being from the Korean War.

Lab officials also will check to see whether any teeth are among the remains, and if so, compare them with a database of dental records of service members missing from the Korean War.

That process will also determine if each box contains the remains of more than one individual. It was the first repatriation of remains since 2005.

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