US identifies remains of 2 soldiers recovered from North Korea

President Donald Trump announced Thursday on Twitter that the US has identified the remains of two American soldiers from the 55 cases of remains of US service members killed during the Korean War that were recovered from North Korea in late July.

“Army Master Sgt. Charles H. McDaniel, 32, of Vernon, Indiana, and Army Pfc. William H. Jones, 19, of Nash County, North Carolina, are the first American remains from North Korea to be identified as a result of my Summit with Chairman Kim. These HEROES are home, they may Rest In Peace, and hopefully their families can have closure,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

The repatriation of the remains of American service members from the Korean War, which ended 65 years ago, was one of the four points listed in the joint statement President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un signed on June 12 during their historic meeting in Singapore.

“President Trump secured a promise from Kim Jong Un to return the remains of all our missing heroes from the Korean War. Thanks to the leadership of President Donald Trump, once again, our boys are coming home,” Vice President Mike Pence said at an event honoring Korean War veterans earlier on Thursday

Both sets of remains were identified on September 13 according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

McDaniel was serving as a medic with the Army’s 8th Cavalry Regiment Medical Company, supporting the regiment’s 3rd Battalion when he was reported missing in action on November 2, 1950. At that time his unit was engaged in fighting with Chinese troops southwest of the village of Unsan and east of Hwango-ri, North Korea.

Jones, a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, was reported missing in action on November 26, 1950, after his unit made a fighting withdrawal following an attack against Chinese troops near Pakchon, North Korea.

Both men were declared deceased on December 31, 1953.

Scientists from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii used DNA, dental, anthropological data and a chest radiograph comparison as well as circumstantial and material evidence to identify the two American soldiers.

The identification of McDaniel was aided by the presence of his identification tag among the 55 cases provided by the North Koreans.

There are 7,686 Americans still unaccounted for from the Korean War according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.