Tags: president donald trump | kim jong un | summit | korean conflict

Trump-Kim Summit Gives Families Hope for Closure

Trump-Kim Summit Gives Families Hope for Closure
President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un at the U.S.-North Korea summit. (Getty Images)

Sunday, 17 June 2018 03:21 PM

The summit agreement between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to recover and repatriate all American war dead has given renewed hope to families of thousands of still-missing Americans.

"It is a triumph, and I have to credit Mr. Trump," Richard Downes, the son of B52 bomber pilot Air Force Lt. Hal Downes, whose plane went down in 1952, told The New York Times.

"But then you realize this is just the beginning. Now that we've done it, how do we actually do it? What happens next? We could get everything, and we could get nothing."

"My whole life, it has remained an open wound — we never knew what happened to him," Downes told the Times about his father. "I half-expected him to walk through the door at any moment."

Some 7,800 Americans who were in the Korean conflict are unaccounted for — with 5,300 of them believed to be in North Korea, the Times reported — a number that far exceeds those still missing from the much longer and more deadly Vietnam War, the Times reported

"We must have hope that this agreement will finally bring peace to the Peninsula and help bring closure to thousands of families," Keith Harman, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars said in a statement, the Times reported. "Now the hard work to bring the initiative to fruition begins."

North Korea turned over the remains of 4,167 Americans in 1954, and others a few at a time since then, but has never come close to allowing a full accounting families hoped for, the Times reported.

But after the Singapore summit last week, Trump declared "the remains will be coming back — they're going to start that process immediately," the Times reported.

"President Obama wouldn't do it — the nuclear negotiations were too tense," Downes told the Times.

But now Trump's promise has left him cautiously hopeful. "We are holding our breath," he said.

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The summit agreement between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to recover and repatriate all American war dead has given renewed hope to families of thousands of still-missing Americans. "It is a triumph, and I have to credit Mr. Trump," Richard...
president donald trump, kim jong un, summit, korean conflict
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2018-21-17
Sunday, 17 June 2018 03:21 PM
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