Trump received letter from North Korea's Kim on 1 August: White House

In his early morning tweet, the President of the United States celebrated the return of USA military remains from the Korean War.

Military pallbearers carry the remains of USA service members collected in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea during Repatriation ceremony after arriving to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Honolulu, Hawaii, Aug. 1 2018.

Fifty-five cases of remains were airlifted from North Korea to South Korea last week and honored in a solemn ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii Wednesday.

The U.S. ambassador also expressed skepticism regarding North Korea's dismantling of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site and the missile site at Tongchang-ri.

According to officials, North Korea returned the 55 boxes of remains with only a single military dog tag and no other information that could help forensics specialists to identify the remains, the Associated Press reports.

But he cautioned it was unclear if that soldier's remains were among those received from North Korea.

McKeague said that DPAA has a DNA database from 92 percent of the families of the estimated 7,700 US service members still listed as missing from the 1950-53 Korean War and DNA comparisons with the remains from the 55 cases would begin shortly.

US President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island in Singapore in June
EVAN VUCCI AP US President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island in Singapore in June

Most of the remains returned to the US were from the village of Sinheung Ri, near the Chosin Reservoir.

Only one identification "dog tag" was delivered by the North Koreans, underscoring the long path ahead for USA military efforts to identify the remains inside the 55 boxes presented by North Korea to the United States last week. As I said today, we saw this promise kept by North Korea as evidence of the progress that we are making and we continue to remain hopeful that we will achieve the aim that's eluded the world for decades - a nuclear free Korean peninsula.

The scientist said the remains were consistent with being from the Korean War. About 5,300 were lost in what is now North Korea.

"I would go back in an instant if we were asked to", said Byrd who participated in numerous earlier search missions.

"They had been very carefully packaged with padding and packaging that was done to, I think, a very high standard", he said.

According to Byrd, the boxes contained items typical of what the agency normally recovers from battlefields - boots, canteens, buttons, buckles and pieces of uniforms. The agency has DNA samples from 92 percent of the families of the almost 7,700 Americans still missing from the Korean War.

But other techniques such as comparing teeth to dental records and bones to chest X-rays are also used.