North Korea just delivered the remains of 55 U.S. soldiers to South Korea

Exactly 65 years after the end of the Korean war, these soldiers are headed home.

55 caskets, covered in United Nations blue flags, have been sent from North Korea to the Osan Air Base in South Korea, in order to eventually be returned to the United States.


Retired Air Force veteran Ernest Lee of Cherry Hill, N.J., who was in Osan just for the occasion, summed up the day: “It’s time to bring them home.”  

The fallen soldiers are all from the 1950-53 Korean War. A total of 36,000 U.S. soldiers died during the war, while 7,700 U.S. soldiers are listed as missing from those years, and 5,300 of the remains are believed to still be in North Korea. 

The United States will fly the caskets to Hawaii and begin to identify the soldiers with DNA testing, so they can get to their proper resting places across the country. In the past, some caskets returned in the same manner contained animal bones as well as those of people who were not U.S. troops. 


U.S. soldiers salute to vehicles transporting the remains of 55 U.S. soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War, after arriving from North Korea at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek on July 27, 2018. (Photo: AHN YOUNG-JOON/AFP/Getty Images)

Because there are still a vast number of remains that North Korea hasn’t released yet, it’s not clear if this is a huge step in the tentative detente between the two countries, or instead a smaller, token effort; since Kim Jong-un met with our current president, there has been an expansion in facilities that produce fissile material, as well as an increase in those making components for solid-fuel missiles. Indeed, the “denuclearization” negotiations are stuck as of right now, so it's unknown whether or not this is a sign of improvement.

The repatriation ceremony for the 55 soldiers will be held August 1 in South Korea. 

August 1950: Lieutenant Commander Orlando Ingvoldstad Jr. reads the last rites over the grave of PFC John Stewart Albert in Korea, attended by the fallen man's brothers PFC Russell A. A. Albert (left) and PFC William H. Albert. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Orangutans exhibit awareness of the past

Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club

(Eugene Sim/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
  • It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
  • This ability may come from a common ancestor
Keep reading Show less

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

Understand your own mind and goals via bullet journaling

Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.

Videos
  • Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
  • The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
  • One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
Keep reading Show less