Efforts to recover American remains from North Korea suspended

Elizabeth Howe
May 08, 2019 - 12:02 pm
Efforts to recover American remains from North Korea suspended

Photo courtesy of Staff Sgt. Mikaley Kline | DVIDS

After a brief period of cooperation between North Korea and America, efforts to return the remains of American troops to the United States from North Korea have been suspended. 

North Korea has provided no communication guidance to the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency since February — and even those communications failed to provide guidance on how efforts should move forward. 

“As a result, our efforts to communicate with the Korean People’s Army regarding the possible resumption of joint recovery operations for 2019 have been suspended,” DPAA spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Hoffman said in a statement to Reuters. “We have reached the point where we can no longer effectively plan, coordinate, and conduct field operations in (North Korea) during this fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2019.” 

Last July, North Korea returned 55 cases of remains to the United States — with one set of identifying dog tags.

Dozens of remains handed over to US from North Korea

North Korea provided just 1 dog tag with 55 sets of war remains

It is believed the remains of 5,300 Americans remain in North Korea. 

The recovery operations to retrieve those remains are still being determined. 

“We are assessing possible next steps in resuming communications with the KPA to plan for potential joint recovery operations during Fiscal Year 2020,” Hoffman said.

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