Throughout the Korean war, the United Nations Command regularly requested that the CPVF and Korean People’s Army (KPA) provide lists of American and allied servicemen held in their custody. Many missing servicemen never appeared on any of the lists provided.
On June 12, 2018, President Donald Trump met with North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore, in the first meeting between the leaders of the United States and North Korea. The leaders signed a joint statement, including a commitment to return the remains American service members lost in North Korea.
On July 27, 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency) laboratory for identification.
Scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System use various tests, such as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis, dental, anthropological analysis and radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence, including a single identification tag that was included in the July 27, turnover.
DPAA has stated that is grateful to the government and people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and looks forward to the continued fulfillment of the commitment made by President Trump and Chairman Kim on the return and recovery of U.S. service members in North Korea.
Today, 7,677 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously returned by North Korean officials or recovered from North Korea by American recovery teams. The names of those missing from the Korean War are recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. Rosettes are placed next to names when the remains are accounted for.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, Facebook page www.facebook.com/dodpaa or call (703) 699-1420/1169.