Trump thanks Kim for fulfilling promise on Korea war remains

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump today thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for "fulfilling a promise" to return the remains of missing U.S. soldiers from the Korean War, as a U.S. military plane made a rare trip into North Korea to retrieve 55 cases of remains.

North Korea returned the remains of what are believed to be U.S. servicemen killed during the Korean War, a handover that followed through on a promise Kim made to Trump when the leaders met in June in Singapore, the first tangible result from the much-hyped summit.

Trump, addressing reporters on the South Lawn, said a plane was carrying the remains "of some great fallen heroes from America back from the Korean War." He said Vice President Mike Pence would greet the families and the remains of the soldiers, and the president thanked Kim "for keeping his word."

"We have many others coming but I want to thank Chairman Kim in front of the media for fulfilling a promise that he made to me, and I'm sure that he will continue to fulfill that promise as they search and search and search," Trump said. He said "these incredible American heroes will soon lay at rest on sacred American soil."

The United Nations Command said 55 cases of remains were retrieved from North Korea. The White House earlier confirmed that a U.S. Air Force C-17 aircraft containing remains of fallen service members had departed Wonsan, a Northern coastal city, on its way to the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, near the South Korean capital of Seoul. A formal repatriation ceremony will be held there Wednesday.

At the air base, U.S. servicemen and a military honor guard lined up on the tarmac to receive the remains, which were carried in boxes covered in blue U.N. flags.

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