By Alex Jensen
SEOUL (AA) — The United Nations Command (UNC) was set to commemorate 55 American soldiers in South Korea Wednesday, less than a week after their remains were picked up from North Korea.
While thousands more troops remain missing from the 1950-53 Korean War, the remains were retrieved as part of the June 12 agreement between the North and the United States to repatriate those already identified.
"The Korean War fallen have never been forgotten by the United States of America nor the 16 other sending states that comprise the UNC," the command stated ahead of Wednesday's ceremony at Osan Air Base.
The UNC also vowed to "continue the mission of repatriation until every service member returns home".
After being commemorated in South Korea, the 55 remains will be examined in Hawaii before being returned to their families.
Official U.S. statistics show that over 7,500 American personnel remain unaccounted for following the war.
Among the other missing foreign soldiers, around 165 were part of the Turkish Brigade, which supplied nearly 15,000 troops to fight against North Korea.
Hopes for carrying out excavation work in the tense Demilitarized Zone between the Koreas moved forward Tuesday when the two sides shared an "understanding" during general-level talks to discuss disarming the area, according to local news agency Yonhap.
However, the respective delegations failed to release a joint statement, suggesting further meetings will be needed to organize a search for more remains.