July 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. is "making progress" to secure the return of Korean War soldiers' remains, the first of which could be back in the U.S. in the next couple weeks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
Pompeo provided the potential timetable at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday. He noted the discussion between the U.S. and North Korea over the return of U.S. soldiers' remains are happening amid the negotiations about North Korean denuclearization.
"The North Koreans reaffirmed their commitment to denuclearize," Pompeo said of his most recent trip to Pyongyang in the last week. "We're making progress along the border to get the return of remains, a very important issue for those families. We think in the next couple of weeks we'll have the first remains returned. That's the commitment. So progress certainly being made there."
On Sunday, Pompeo said the U.S. and North Korea agreed to resume searching for the remains of missing U.S. Korean War soldiers.
More than 36,000 American soldiers died during the war and some 7,700 are missing in action. Of those, about 5,300 are missing in North Korea, according to the State Department.
U.S. soldiers' remains last returned from North Korea in 2007.