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After the trump suit summit with Kim, the families of Korean war missing the hope for closure

A photo of Hal Downes (R) with his wife, Elinor Lee (L) and young son, Richard (C).

(Courtesy of Richard Downes)

Richard Downes was only three years old when his father left home to fight in the Korean war.

It was the last time he would ever see him.

On 13, January 1952, shortly after the end of a night bombing mission in North-Korea Air Force Lt. Hal Downes’ B-26 Marauder went down, after the plane working the twin engines stopped. During the pilot and the other crew members were able to save themselves – they were trapped behind enemy lines, before they are finally released – the fate of Downes and other aircraft, remains a mystery.

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On this day, Downes is one of the more than 5,000 U.S. military men, who still declared MIA in North Korea. But after President Trump, and North Korean strong man Kim Jong-Un agreed on Tuesday during a historic summit in Singapore, to recover the remains of U.S. servicemen unaccounted for and presumed dead from the war, Downes, and other families, whose husbands and fathers are still MIA, full of hope, almost 68 years later, their remains will soon be returned to U.S. soil.

“I didn’t know this was also going to be discussed on the summit,” Downes, who is the executive director of the coalition of families of Korean & Cold war POW/MIAs, told Fox News. “This is the first step, but now we need to find out what the plan is for the recovery of the remains.”

USAF Lieutenant Hal Downes in Japan in 1952.

(Courtesy of Richard Downes)

Almost 7,800 U.S. troops remain missing from the war, 1950-53. Around 5,300 were lost in North Korea.

In a statement signed on Tuesday by both Trump and Kim, the two countries have agreed to the immediate return of this American dead are already identified and for the continuation of the recovery efforts, ended in 2006.

Between 1996 and 2005, joint U.S.-North Korean military search teams carried out more than 30 recovery missions and recovered 229 sets of American remains. But this search ended when Washington officially, the program broke, because it was supposedly guaranteed the safety of aid workers – although the North its first nuclear test in 2006, was the probability of a larger reason.

“We have to have hope that this agreement will be sent finally at peace on the Peninsula and help bring closure to thousands of families of missing American soldiers from the Korean war,” said Keith Harman, the national commander of the veterans of Foreign wars of the United States, in a statement to Fox News. To bring “now, the hard work, the initiative begins to realize.”

The American soldiers left the train station in Taejon, South Korea, on the way to the battle-front against North Korea.

(AP Photo)

While most of the missing Americans-Korea, others – believed to be as Downes’ father died during the engagement, or as prisoners of war in the North, the scattered around the hermit Kingdom, after their aircraft went out on missions. Downes said that while he hopes that his father, recovered one of the 229 Americans, he understands that it will be difficult to find the remains of missing those.

It is unclear whether North Korea ‘ s commitment to the recovery of the US war could count as a big win for Washington, if Pyongyang would be easy to do a return to what had been going on for years. Critics of the program claim that the North was with the offer to squeeze money out of Washington, called it “the bone for the Dollar.”

Richard Downes in North Korea during a trip in the year 2016.

(Courtesy of Richard Downes)

During a trip organized by former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is in the year 2016 to North Korea to search for remains, Downes, said that the group flew over the area, where his father, the bomber is believed to have crashed.

“Our approach to the airport took us through the rice fields, where my father said the aircraft is believed to gone down,” Downes. “This is probably the closest I felt I was to my father since I was three years old.”

Ray Bogan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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