Remains believed to be those of U.S. soldiers have been recovered in North Korea (search) and will be returned home this week a half century after the 1950-53 Korean War (search) ended, the U.S. military said Thursday.

The remains, brought across the heavily fortified border between the two Koreas, will be honored on Friday during a ceremony at the U.S. 8th Army (search) headquarters in Seoul.

They will be flown to a government lab in Hawaii for identification, a news release said. Forensics tests will determine how many sets of remains there are.

U.S. and North Korean teams are recovering remains of U.S. soldiers missing from the Korean War in a joint search project that began in 1996. So far the work has recovered over 180 sets of remains thought to be of U.S. soldiers.

The United States led the U.N. coalition that repelled the North Korean invasion of South Korea that triggered the Korea War. The fighting ended in a cease-fire, not a formal peace treaty. Today the two sides remain technically at war.

The recovery missions have continued despite heightened tensions between the former battlefield adversaries over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

More than 8,100 U.S. troops remain missing from the Korean War.