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looking for closure

It could take years to identify U.S. remains returned by North Korea

The United States was given just one dog tag last week when North Korea turned over the remains of soldiers killed during the Korean War, and experts must now try to identify individual identities using in-depth forensic analysis, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told President Trump during their summit in Singapore last month that he would return the remains of prisoners of war to the U.S. North Korea gave the U.S. 55 boxes of remains, which were transported from the city of Wonsan to Osan air base in South Korea. The remains have not yet been confirmed as belonging to Americans, and it's unclear if the dog tag even belonged to a U.S. service member, AP reports. In the past, North Korea has given countries bones not belonging to humans or of servicemen who had already been identified.

Almost 7,700 U.S. troops are still considered missing and unaccounted for from the Korean War, and the Pentagon believes about 5,300 are buried in North Korea. Following a repatriation ceremony at the Osan air base on Wednesday, the remains will be sent to Hawaii and tested at a Defense Department lab. Some of the remains could belong to soldiers from France, Australia, and other countries, and if so, they will be returned. It could take years to finish testing.