U.S. servicemen carry the casket containing the remains of U.S. Army Corporal Donald Matney whose remains were recently identified after he died during the Korean War. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday the U.S. and North Korea agreed to resume a search for the remains of an estimated 5,300 U.S. soldiers who never returned from the Korean War. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
July 15 (UPI) -- The United States and North Korea agreed to resume field operations to search for remains of thousands of Americans who died during the Korean War, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Sunday.
Pompeo said the U.S. and North Korea had "productive and cooperative" discussions that resulted in both sides agreeing to recommence operations to search for the remains of an estimated 5,300 Americans who never returned from the war.
The representatives also discussed the return of remains of about 200 U.S. service members from the war, which had already been recovered.
Last month the U.S. State Department sent 100 coffins to the Joint Security Area in the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea to receive the remains.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un agreed to return the remains during his June 12 summit with President Donald Trump, but a date wasn't set for the return.
"On July 16, working level meetings between US and DPRK officials are scheduled to begin to coordinate next steps, including the transfer of American service members' remains already collected in the DPRK," Pompeo said Sunday.
More than 36,000 U.S. troops died in the war and 7,702 are missing in action, including 5,300 believed to be missing in the North, according to the State Department.
The last repatriation took place in 2007 when then-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson traveled to Pyongyang, North Korea, to retrieve six sets of remains