Washington DC, Jul 27 (EFE).- The president of the United States on Friday thanked North Korea’s leader for returning the remains of 55 US soldiers who died in the Korean War.
“After so many years, this will be a great moment for so many families. Thank you to Kim Jong Un,” tweeted Donald Trump, for whom Kim Jong-un’s gesture comes as a diplomatic win as it was part of an agreement between President Trump and Kim during the historic Jul. 12 Singapore summit.
The White House had announced earlier that a US Air Force C-17 aircraft carried the remains of the soldiers from Wonsan in North Korea to the US’ Osan Air Base in South Korea.
Onboard the aircraft were also members of the United Nations Command in Korea.
The United Nations Command in Korea said in another statement that the 55 cases containing the remains arrived in Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek some 70 kilometers (43.3 miles) south of Seoul a little before noon.
The cases, covered in blue United Nations flags, were carried by soldiers in uniform in a solemn ceremony before they were placed in vehicles waiting at the Osan tarmac ahead of the repatriation ceremony to be held on Aug. 1.
“Today, (Kim) is fulfilling part of the commitment he made to the president to return our fallen American service members. We are encouraged by North Korea’s actions and the momentum for positive change,” the White House said in a statement.
The White House said that it is a significant step towards the resumption of repatriation of the remains from North Korea and search operations for the estimated 5,300 US soldiers who died there.
On Jun. 20, Trump announced that North Korea had begun proceedings for handing over the remains of 200 soldiers, but it was not until Friday that they returned the remains of 55 fallen soldiers, a number much smaller than the original figure.