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Release No: 795-03
October 29, 2003

Remains of U.S. Servicemen Repatriated from North Korea

            Remains believed to be those of eight American soldiers missing in action from the Korean War were recovered by two teams of U.S. specialists and repatriated to U.S. control in ceremonies at Yokota Air Base Japan Oct. 28.


            The joint remains recovery work is the result of July negotiations with North Korea led by the Defense Department’s POW/Missing Personnel Office.  The negotiated terms enabled U.S. specialists to recover these eight remains between Aug. 23 and Oct. 28.  A joint forensic review confirmed these remains likely to be those of U.S. soldiers.


            A joint team operating near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea recovered seven sets of remains believed to be those of U.S. Army soldiers from the 7th Infantry Division who fought against Chinese forces from November-December 1950.  Approximately 1,000 Americans are estimated to have been lost in battles of the Chosin campaign.


            Additionally, a second team recovered one set of remains in Unsan County, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang.  This area was the site of battles between communist forces and the U.S. Army’s 1st Cavalry and 25th Infantry Divisions in November 1950. 


            The 28-person U.S. contingent was composed primarily of specialists from the Army’s Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii.


            Since 1996, 27 individual joint operations have been conducted in North Korea, during which 186 sets of remains believed to be those of U.S. soldiers have been recovered.  Of the 88,000 U.S. servicemembers missing in action from all conflicts, more than 8,100 are from the Korean War.


            For additional information about POW/MIA recoveries, visit http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo .

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