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Release No: 551-02
October 28, 2002


Remains believed to be those of 11 American soldiers missing in action from the Korean War will be repatriated Tuesday in North Korea.

The remains will be flown aboard a U.S. Air Force aircraft from Pyongyang, North Korea, under escort of a uniformed U.S. honor guard, to Yokota Air Base, Japan, where a formal U.N. Command repatriation ceremony will be held.

A joint team operating near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea recovered remains believed to be those of U.S. Army soldiers from the 7th Infantry Division who fought against Chinese forces November-December 1950. The recovery teams were composed primarily of specialists from the Army's Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii (CILHI).

A second CILHI team recovered remains in Unsan county, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang. The area was the site of battles between Communist forces and the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry and 25th Infantry Divisions in November 1950. Approximately 1,000 Americans are estimated to have been lost in battles of the Chosin campaign.

The Defense Department's Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office negotiated terms with the North Koreans in June, which led to the scheduling of three operations this year. This repatriation marks the last of this year's operations.

Twenty-five individual joint operations have been conducted since 1996 in North Korea, during which remains believed to be those of at least 178 U.S. soldiers have been recovered. Thirteen have been positively identified and returned to their families for burial with military honors.

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

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