on Friday thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for “fulfilling a promise” by returning the remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War.
“At this moment a plane is carrying the remains of some great fallen heroes from America back from the Korean War, they’re coming back to the United States,” Trump said during remarks at the White House focused on the economy.
“I want to thank Chairman Kim for keeping his word,” the president said. “We have many others coming, but I want to thank Chairman Kim in front of the media for fulfilling a promise he made to me. And I’m sure he will continue to fulfill that promise as they search and search and search.”
A U.S. military plane departed North Korea on Thursday with the remains, bringing them to a U.S. base in South Korea. The plane is now on its way to the U.S.
Trump said Friday that Vice President Pence will greet families of soldiers killed in the Korean War when the flight from South Korea arrives.
The return of the remains was one of several agreements reached between the two countries during Trump’s summit with Kim in Singapore earlier this year.
The two leaders signed an agreement stating that the U.S. will provide unspecified security guarantees in return for the eventual denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The return of the remains — viewed as a way for North Korea to show its intentions to follow through on the rest of its commitments — faced some questions earlier this month after it was reported that officials told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo they had no set plans in place for the remains’ return.
Trump claimed last month that North Korea had returned the remains of 200 U.S. or allied service members lost in the Korean War.
In a previous act of faith and goodwill, Kim Jong-Un also freed three U.S. citizens and they returned to the United States with Secretary of State Pompeo.
Korean-Americans Tony Kim, Kim Hak Song and Kim Dong Chul had been held in a labor camp until last week, when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had them transferred to a hotel.
The men had been held between one and two years.
North Korea had accused the trio of anti-state activities but their arrests were widely seen as politically motivated and had compounded the dire state of relations over the isolated nation’s nuclear weapons.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
July 27th, 2018