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2 more United States service members’ remains ID’ed in North Korea handover

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US identifies first troops from returned North Korea remains

The US military is close to identifying the first two American troops from the 55 boxes of human remains from the 1950-53 Korean War that were handed over by North Korea in July, US officials leading the forensic analysis said on Monday.

Researchers and analysts at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii have so far sampled 23 of the 55 sets of remains returned in late July.

The names of the servicemen will be announced after their families have been notified.

Praising the "good work" of forensic scientists, the Pentagon chief said they had been able to quickly identify the two remains thanks to a variety of information, including where they had been found.

Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the repatriation ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in August, where he thanked the fallen soldiers for giving "the last full measure of devotion for their families, our freedom, our future, our country".

Between 1996 and 2005, the USA worked with North Korea and recovered around 400 caskets of remains, though Washington halted the cooperation in 2005 as it could not guarantee the safety of its personnel.

Byrd acknowledged that it could take months for the next round of identifications.

Byrd and his colleague Jennie Jin, who leads the agency's Korean War Project, spent more than an hour explaining the painstaking process of identifying the remains, which include methods for finding DNA in bone fragments.

The two U.S. service members, who were identified through DNA analysis and historical documents, are believed to have died in late 1950 in an area near the Chongchon River, where United States forces suffered heavy losses during the Korean War.

North Korea returned the remains this summer after President Trump's summit with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un.

Scientists say it is unclear whether some of the boxes contain the remains of more than one body.

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