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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 232-01
May 29, 2001

REMAINS OF THREE U.S SERVICEMEN RECOVERED IN NORTH KOREA

Remains believed to be those of three American soldiers, missing in action from the Korean War, will be repatriated in formal ceremonies at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, on Wednesday, May 30, at 9 a.m., Hawaii time.

The remains will be flown on a U.S. Air Force aircraft from Yokota Air Base, Japan, where a United Nations Command repatriation ceremony was held today.

A joint U.S.-North Korean team operating in Unsan and Kujang counties and along the Chong Chon River, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang, recovered the remains during operations that began earlier this month. The area was the site of battles between Communist forces and the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry Division, and 2nd and 25th Infantry Divisions in November 1950.

The 28-person U.S. teams were composed primarily of specialists from the Army's Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii.

The Defense Department's POW/Missing Personnel Office negotiated an agreement with the North Koreans last year that led to the scheduling of this year's operations. This year's work in North Korea promises to be the most productive yet, with ten individual operations scheduled, including some near the Chosin Reservoir.

Seventeen operations were conducted between 1996 and 2000 in North Korea, which resulted in the recovery of 107 sets of remains believed to be those of U.S. soldiers. Eight have been positively identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors. Another 10 are nearing the final stages of the forensic identification process.

Of the 88,000 U.S. servicemembers missing in action from all conflicts, more than 8,100 are from the Korean War.