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VFW Incredibly Encouraged with Return of Remains
from North Korea'This is a huge step in the right direction
that we hope will finally bring peace to the peninsula and
closure to American families'
July 27, 2018
WASHINGTON — “The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is incredibly encouraged by the news that North Korea has returned 55 boxes of remains believed to be U.S. service members who have been missing in action since the Korean War,” said new VFW National Commander Vincent “B.J.” Lawrence. “This is a huge step in the right direction that we hope will finally bring peace to the peninsula and closure to American families who have been waiting more than six decades for their loved ones to return home from their war.”
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency lists 7,699 missing Americans from the Korean War, with some 5,300 believed to be in North Korea. DPAA also lists 111 Cold War losses in the vicinity of the Korean peninsula.
“The return of our missing is a humanitarian mission that transcends politics,” said Lawrence, whose organization sent a letter to President Trump in advance of the June 12 Singapore summit to urge him to include the return of American remains as a discussion point with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The United States government, specifically DPAA search and recovery teams, has not operated in North Korea since 2005 due to team safety and security concerns.
“The VFW is grateful to the president for acting on our recommendation and to the North Korean leader for following through on his part of the summit agreement,” said the VFW national commander. “The VFW will continue working towards the fullest possible accounting of missing Americans on the Korean peninsula and elsewhere because we leave no one behind. We owe it to their families and we owe to their battle buddies. This is a top priority to the VFW and we thank President Trump for making this issue his priority, too.”