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JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (Reuters) – The U.S. military has identified the first two American troops from 55 boxes of human remains from the 1950-53 Korean War that North Korea handed over in July, the agency leading the analysis said on Monday.
The identities are expected to be officially announced in the coming days after the troops’ relatives are informed.
“We will notify the family first,” said John Byrd, director of scientific analysis at the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, as he stood among the remains undergoing review in Hawaii.
The article goes on to state the following:
The identifications will chip away at the 7,699 U.S. troops who the U.S. military says remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. About 5,300 were lost in what is now North Korea.
Forensic anthropologists are combing through the remains at a secure facility on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Byrd and Jennie Jin, who leads the agency’s Korean War Project, explained the painstaking identification process which includes methods for finding DNA in bone fragments.
Sampling for DNA analysis has been carried out so far on about half of the boxes of remains, they said. Some bone fragments are as small as a quarter. Other bones have decayed so much that they are little longer than a pencil.
However, the sets of bones from the two soon-to-be-identified troops are far more complete.
“We noticed … within a few seconds of opening up the box, and pulling him out, that we think this individual is African American and tall and slender,” Byrd said. “And that kind of realization that we have was made possible because of the relatively more complete condition (of the remains).”
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The U.S. has identified the remains of two service members among the 55 boxes returned by North Korea this summer https://t.co/mvIzNLYBbq
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