President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed Tuesday at a historic summit in Singapore to recover the remains of the U.S. military personnel missing in action and presumed dead from the Korean War.
In a statement signed by both leaders, the countries agreed to the recovery of the remains and the immediate repatriation of those already identified. The statement also assures North Korea would work toward "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
Nearly 7,800 American troops remain unaccounted for from the 1950-53 war in the Korean Peninsula. About 5,300 were lost in North Korea.
According to the Pentagon’s Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, most missing Americans died in major battles or as prisoners of war in North Korea. Others died in small villages or along the wayside. Most aircraft crashes also occurred near the battle zones or roads connecting them.
The effort will be the continuation of past missions that abruptly ended over a decade ago amid North Korea’s increasing hostility and development of nuclear weapons.
Between 1996 and 2005 joint U.S.-North Korea military search teams conducted over 30 recovery missions and recovered 229 sets of American remains.
The recovery missions ended as the safety of American recovery teams couldn’t be guaranteed and North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.