07/27/2018, 11.11
KOREA - USA
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Remains of US soldiers who died in Korea return home

65 years after the armistice. Donald Trump thanks the North Korean Kim Jong-un via Twitter: "A great moment for many American families". South Korean President Moon: "Formal peace will come later this year". But some experts criticize the decision: "Before closing the deal, Pyongyang must really denuclearize the peninsula".

 

Seoul (AsiaNews) - 65 years after the end of the Korean War, the North Korean regime has returned the remains of some American soldiers who fell in Korea during the conflict to the United States.

A US Air Force military aircraft transported them from Wonsan (North Korea) to the Osan air base in South Korea. The permission granted by Pyongyang to the US military aircraft to fly over its territory and land there is also highly significant.

The return of the remains coincided with the 65th anniversary of the Armistice of Panmunjeom, the 1953 agreement that ended the hostilities between the two Koreas. A  crowd of several thousand American soldiers stationed in South Korea, along with families welcomed the aircraft.

The exchange partly demonstrates the agreement reached in Singapore between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un is bearing initial results. The White House spokesperson, Sarah Sanders said "today's actions represent a significant first step to recommence the repatriation of remains from North Korea and to resume field operations in North Korea to search for the estimated 5,300 Americans who have not yet returned home".

The repatriation of the remains of the soldiers who fell during the conflict between 1950 and 1953 was a point of the agreement signed between the two heads of state, which aims at achieving peace and the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. 

The Korean conflict (1950-1953) was one of the bloodiest of the Cold War: with the US alongside Seoul and China siding with Pyongyang, the peninsula was the scene of fierce battles.

 The Korean Church has been insisting on this point for years: the division of Korea was not wanted by its inhabitants, but was the last poisoned fruit of the conflict between the world superpowers of over 60 years.

More than 35,000 US soldiers died on the Korean peninsula during the war. In addition to the ascertained victims, about 7,700 US troops are still counted as "missing", of which 5,300 in North Korea.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in welcomed today's ceremony and announced that he wants to sign "a formal peace agreement with North Korea" this year. In fact, the two countries are technically still at war. However, some experts have warned the leader of Seoul: "Peace must be signed only when there are real signs of denuclearization by the North".

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