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Identities confirmed for 25 American service members missing since Korean War, thousands still unaccounted for

An honor guard detail of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) personnel conducts an honorable carry ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPH-H), Hawaii, Aug. 1, 2018. Carry teams will move 55 flag-draped transfer cases, containing what are believed to be the remains of American service members lost in the Korean War, to the DPAA laboratory at JBPH-H for identification. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mikaley Kline)

While thousands of American service members missing since the Korean War remain unaccounted for, some families will finally get long overdue closure, as 25 more remains were identified from the 55 boxes of remains North Korea turned over last year.

Prior to these 25 identifications, announced by Vice President Pence Thursday, seven remains had been identified by American military researchers from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) in Hawaii, ABC News reports.

“One year ago I had the honor of participating in the repatriation ceremony of fallen heroes returned home from North Korea,” Pence tweeted Thursday. “As the son of a Korean War Vet, I’m grateful for the hard work by @DeptofDefense to identify 25 more heroes from the 55 boxes of remains. #LeaveNoManBehind.”

The identity of Army Maj. Harvey H. Storms was made public by the DPAA on Wednesday. Storms was reported missing in action Dec. 1, 1950 after his unit was attacked in North Korea by enemy forces, the release reads. He was identified Monday.

The other newly discovered identities will be announced once their families are notified over the next several weeks.

The 55 boxes were turned over following President Trump’s first meeting with the nation’s leader, Kim Jong Un, and were thought to maybe hold remains of up to 80 American service members unaccounted for since the Korean War.

In May, following February’s unsuccessful second meeting between Trump and the North Korean leader in February, the DPAA suspended joint recovery operation efforts at North Korean battlefields until the fiscal year ends on September 30.

Most of the more than 7,200 American service members missing since the Korean War were last seen on those battlefields, according to ABC News.


© 2019 New York Daily News