The United States military has said on Saturday that it was moving caskets to the Korean border village of Panmunjom as it prepares for North Korea to return the remains of U.S. soldiers who went missing during the Korean War of 1950-53.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Forces Korea said around 100 caskets were sent to the border on Saturday, while another 50 to 60 more would be sent to the border over the coming days as the U.S. waits for North Korea to confirm the time and date for the transfer.
“We’re anticipating around 200 to 250 remains and so that is what we’re preparing for,” the spokesperson told NBC News. “It could happen any second and we are getting ready for that.”
The spokesperson added that the caskets were ready to transfer the remains is a “dignified manner.”
Pyongyang’s decision to send home remains of missing U.S. soldiers was part of the agreement between North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and President Trump during the June 12 historic summit in Singapore.
Joint U.S.-North Korea military search teams conducted 33 recovery operations that collected 229 sets of Americans remains between 1996 and 2005. However, efforts to recover and return other remains have been blocked for more than a decade because of the disagreement between the U.S. and North Korea over its Nuclear weapons program.