Critics have continued to claim that President Trump has done nothing substantive with North Korea after his summit with Chairman Kim Jong-Un, despite a massive deescalation of tensions with the authoritarian dictatorship and a significant reduction in nuclear warhead development.
“Many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well! In the meantime, no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months. All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining. If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!” said Trump earlier this month, which got him roundly mocked by Democrats.
But another major milestone has just come as a result of Trump’s handling of relations with North Korea. Many American families can now have the peace of mind that comes with securing the remains of their lost loved ones.
In a tweet Thursday night, Trump announced that “The Remains of American Servicemen will soon be leaving North Korea and heading to the United States! After so many years, this will be a great moment for so many families. Thank you to Kim Jong Un.”
Fifty cases, believed to be carrying the remains of U.S. servicemembers killed in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953, were transferred to the U.S. military in North Korea on Friday, according to Fox News. The cases are going to a U.S. Air Force Base in South Korea where a “formal repatriation ceremony will be held on August 1, a White House statement said.
The remains of 5,300 American servicemembers are believed to have been left in North Korea since the 1950s.
The return of remains led White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to say that, “We are encouraged by North Korea’s actions and the momentum for positive change.”
“The United States owes a profound debt of gratitude to those American service members who gave their lives in service to their country and we are working diligently to bring them home,” she continued. “It is a solemn obligation of the United States Government to ensure that the remains are handled with dignity and properly accounted for so their families receive them in an honorable manner.”
She added that this is just the first of the remains to be returned. More transfer and repatriation is expected in the future. But she noted that this first step is a huge change in U.S.-North Korea relations.