United States identifies two sets of Korean War remains, says Mattis

Jennie Jin a forensic anthropologist shows some of the objects that accompanied the human remains handed over by North Korea

Modal Trigger Jennie Jin a forensic anthropologist shows some of the objects that accompanied the human remains handed over by North Korea. Reuters

Two Korean War dead have been identified from remains turned over to the U.S.in July by North Korea, according to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday.

"It's been good work done, they moved swiftly on a couple where they thought they had a better chance for a number of reasons, where the remains came from, and what background we had, and how much we had to work with", Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.

The forensic teams have reportedly analyzed 23 of the 55 sets of remains, though some are more complete than others. Of those, around 5,300 American casualties are still believed to be in North Korea.

The last point of the joint statement signed in Singapore by U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un committed North Korea to returning the remains.

Thousands of service members remain unaccounted for and Mattis confirmed the USA and North Korea have engaged in conversations to have additional remains returned.

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The U.S. service members were killed decades ago while fighting in the Korean War.

Forensic anthropologists have been examining the remains at a facility on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Reuters reported.

"We noticed. within a few seconds of opening up the box, and pulling him out, that we think this individual is African American and tall and slender", Byrd said.

Other tables included personal objects from soldiers that don't have any identification on them, including buttons, canteens and old boots. Jennie Jin and Byrd, who were the coordinators at the Korean War agency's Project, elaborated and said that the identification process is painstaking which also includes finding DNA from within the bone fragments.

The meeting took place at the border truce village of Panmunjom in the DMZ on Friday, the US-led United Nations Command Korea said in a statement.

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