US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that talks on Sunday between US and North Korean officials to discuss the return of remains of US service members killed in the 1950-53 Korean War "resulted in firm commitments."
It was the first time in nine years that US and North Korean generals held talks. The two sides met on the inter-Korean border on Sunday and agreed to resume joint field activities to search for the remains of Americans missing from the war, Pompeo said in a statement.
"Today’s talks were productive and cooperative and resulted in firm commitments," he said.
The repatriation of US remains was one of the agreements reached during an unprecedented summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June in Singapore.
Working level meetings will begin on Monday to coordinate the next steps for the repatriation of remains, including the transfer of those already collected in North Korea, Pompeo said.
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The Pentagon has said North Korean officials have indicated in the past they have the remains of as many as 200 US troops. But a U.S. military official familiar with the matter said last month it was not clear what North Korea might hand over.
US forces brought some 100 wooden coffins into the DMZ last month, which will be used to transport the remains, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
About 7,700 US military personnel still remain unaccounted for from the Korean War, US military data show. More than 36,500 U.S. troops died in the conflict.