Trump Seeks Recovery of US Military Remains in North Korea

June 12, 2018 07:00 PM

It wasn't the top priority for President Don Trump at his Singapore Summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but he made it clear he wants cooperation in helping recover American military remains from the Korean War.

The president said it was the last issue he brought up with Kim at the summit.


"That was a very last-minute," Trump said at a news conference, adding, "the remains will be coming back. They're going to start that process immediately."

RELATED: For World, Trump-Kim Summit Raises Cautious Hope for Peace 

However, that might be overly optimistic. There are an estimated 7,700 members of the U.S. military unaccounted for from the Korean War, including about 140 Minnesotans. The last time North Korea cooperated in a recovery effort between 1990 and 2005, only 229 sets of remains were recovered.

"Bring our guys home, find out where they are," said Ed Valle, president of a Korean War Veterans Association in the Twin Cities.

RELATED: Remains of Minnesota Sailor Killed at Pearl Harbor Returning Home 

He's convinced the North Koreans know much more about where the remains are than they've revealed before.

"Have North Korea come out and say we had mass burials and here's where they are," Valle said. "We had somebody in captivity and this is where they were. We need that to be taken care of. To us, it's one of the high priorities of the summit."

Although Trump said the process to search for more remains will begin "immediately," it's unclear when or if it will happen.


Tom Hauser

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