Remains of what are believed to be 55 USA soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War arrived on Wednesday in the U.S. after North Korea returned them a few days ago under agreements reached between the leaders of both countries.
U.S. vice president Mike Pence spoke at a ceremony before the flag-draped containers carrying the remains were taken off planes in sets of four.
North Korea handed over the remains last week.
The transfer was the "a tangible result of the commitment made by President Trump and Chairman Kim in Singapore", said Angela Kerwin, Consul General at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.
"May God bless the souls of those who laid before us and provide comfort to those who yet await the return of their beloved and missing warrior", he said. Many families who are awaiting the return of their loved ones from the Korean War have already submitted DNA samples to the agency to help in the identification process.
On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that us intelligence officials suspect that North Korea is continuing to build new missiles in the same research facility that manufactured the country's ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States. They set the caskets gently on risers lined up inside the hangar as Mr Pence stood watching with his hand over his heart.
The Korean War remains were formally repatriated to US soil Wednesday.
Trump thanked him for "fulfilling a promise" to send back USA remains and said it was a step in the right direction following their summit.
North Korea handed over the remains last week and a U.S. military plane made a rare trip into North Korea to retrieve the 55 cases.
Satellite imagery gathered by US intelligence agencies indicates that North Korea is building new ballistic missiles at a factory just outside its capital, according to The Washington Post.
"This is a huge step in the right direction that we hope will finally bring peace to the peninsula and closure to American families who have been waiting more than six decades for their loved ones to return home from their war", Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander Vincent "B.J". As we wrote last week quoting the 38 North monitoring site, the North has reportedly begun dismantling that facility, which was used in part to test new liquid-fuel rocket engines.
The U.S. Defense Department estimates that about 7,700 American service members were missing during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. Since 1990, North Korea has only repatriated the remains of 340.
This spring, however, Trump took a vastly different approach in his dealings with his North Korean counterpart, leading to the "epochal" summit in Singapore in which North Korean denuclearization was agreed upon.
The Pentagon said it was "absolutely" considering the possibility of sending personnel to North Korea for this goal.
"However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting (between the countries) was no doubt regrettable", the spokesman said. But North Korea only provided one dog tag with the 55 boxes it handed over last week.
An armistice that ended the Korean War has yet to be replaced with a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula in a technical state of war.
The two sides are expected to discuss a possible cut in firearms and personnel stationed at the DMZ, as well as a joint excavation for the remains of soldiers killed in the Korean War.