WASHINGTON – The remains handed over by North Korea last week in 55 boxes are “consistent with the Americans” on the basis of an initial investigation, although this has not been identified, an AMERICAN scientist, who has seen the remains said Thursday.
Although President Donald Trump has publicly thanked the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un for the fulfilment of the promise he made at their June 12 Singapore top to return the American war continues, the officials of the V. S. had warned that little was known about the remains and that they could not easily be identified.
John E. Byrd, director of the Ministry of Defence laboratory in Hawaii, where the 55 cases arrived on Wednesday, cited several reasons for to say that at least some of the remains appear to be those of Americans missing from the Korean War.
Byrd was present at the North Korean officials turned the 55 boxes in Wonsan airport in North Korea last week Friday, and he was under the AMERICAN government specialists that a further preliminary examination of the contents after the boxes were flown to Osan air base in South Korea the same day.
A cursory survey in Wonsan confirmed that the human remains were, he said, and a look at the Osan gave reason to believe that they probably are Americans.
“What we saw were the remains that are consistent with what we have found of the Korean War found that we have done the past few years, and we have found, in accordance with the Americans,” Byrd said, speaking by video teleconference from Hawaii.
“We have the remains that have been there are in a state of preservation consistent with the advent of the Korean War,” he said, and the materials with the remains included U.S.-issued military equipment such as canteens, and buttons. He said the remains are “good candidates to missing Americans from the Korean War”, where thousands died on the battlefields and in prisoner-of-war-camps during the 1950-53 conflict, and remain officially unaccounted for.
Byrd said that he would not venture a guess how many people represented by the bones in the 55 boxes.
The AMERICAN and the North Korean military conducted joint excavations of the war continues in the North between 1996 and 2005, with more than 200 set of remains, not all of which are identified. Separately, North Korea handed over 208 boxes of remains between 1990 and 1994, some of which have yet to be identified.
When the North Koreans turned the 55 boxes to Byrd and other AMERICAN officials in Wonsan on July 27, they said the cases contained the remains of an unspecified number of Americans, but the only identifying item was a single military dog tag, Byrd said. Two members of that person’s family is notified, Kelly McKeague, the director of the Defense POW MIA Accounting Agency, told reporters.
McKeague refused to reveal the name on the dog tag.
Byrd says that the North Koreans in Wonsan delivered what he described as a “short bit, a little paragraph of information with each of the 55 boxes. The most significant bit of information in each case was the name of the village where the remains were found, he said. One of the villages was the Sin Hung-ri, which he said is located on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir, where U.S. Army soldiers fought a fierce battle in the autumn of 1950, after the Chinese troops in the war.
North Korea had told U.s. officials more than ever in the past few years, there were about 200 sets of the AMERICAN war remains in storage. McKeague said Thursday that the North Koreans that the 55 boxes last week, not to say whether they have of others. He said that the US is willing to discuss arrangements for future U.S.-North Korean excavations, but that this process is not yet underway.
Byrd said his lab in Hawaii has already started the work on the remains. The first step, he said, is the sampling of the bones for DNA that can potentially be compared with the DNA samples that have been provided over the years by relatives of Korean War MIAs. If matches are achieved, the identification can be done relatively quickly, ” he said, but in other cases the identification of the work will take years.
The forensic work in some cases is helped by the records of the chest X-rays, that the AMERICAN soldiers were often given at the conclusion of the military, as well as dental records.
In an illustration of how long it may take for the identification of Korean War remains, McKeague, the agency announced Thursday that the remains of a soldier found more than a decade ago, Army Sgt. William A. Larkins, of Pittsburgh, returned to his family for the funeral. He was identified remains recovered by a joint U.S.-North Korean team in April and May 2005.