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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, September 26, 2002

Korean War remains to arrive tomorrow

By William Cole
Advertiser Military Writer

The remains of what are believed to be eight U.S. service members who died in the Korean War will arrive at Hickam Air Force Base tomorrow.

The Army's Central Identification Laboratory, Hawai'i, recovered the remains during the second of three recovery operations to North Korea for 2002.

An arrival ceremony is scheduled tomorrow at Hickam at 9 a.m.

Three sets of remains were found in the Chosin Reservoir area, where 1,100 service members from the 1st Marine Division and elements of the Army's 31st Regimental Combat Team were killed during fighting with Chinese forces in November and December of 1950.

Five other sets of remains were recovered along the Chong Chon River near Unsan and Kujang counties, the central identification lab said. The U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry and 25th Infantry divisions battled with the Chinese there in November 1950.

The United States has negotiated with North Korea since 1996 to allow recovery access to battlefields from the war, which lasted from 1950 to 1953.

Seven sets of remains from the Chosin Reservoir and Chong Chon River areas were recovered in August. The laboratory is attempting to identify the remains, a process that can take years.

More than 33,000 Americans died in the Korean War. There are still 8,100 service members missing from the war, the lab said.