‘We Owe It To The Families’ — VFW Optimistic About Recovering US POW/MIA Remains In North Korea

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

Advocacy group Veterans of Foreign Wars is optimistic about the U.S. and North Korea’s agreement to recover fallen U.S. military remains lost on the Korean Peninsula more than 60 years ago.

“We owe it to the families,” said Bob Wallace, the organization’s executive director of its Washington, D.C., office, to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

North Korea already possesses approximately 200 sets of remains that the country can turn over to the U.S. immediately, Wallace said. Those remains would be identified in a Hawaii laboratory, and, finally, families would be contacted.

“It’s not going to happen overnight, but the fact that [the U.S. and North Korea] are talking … Things are very positive,” Wallace said. (RELATED: Trump Talked Human Rights With North Korea, Contradicting Media Reports)

Approximately 5,300 U.S. military personnel unaccounted for in North Korea were lost during the Korean War, during which the United States backed South Korea from 1950 to 1953. (RELATED: Trump Declares End To North Korean ‘Nuclear Threat’)

The U.S. embarked on recovery missions from 1996 until 2005, around the time that North Korea conducted its first nuclear test. The new agreement was struck at a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday.

For now, Wallace is hopeful.

“We just have to see it become reality,” he said. “We’ll be watching it move forward.”

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