Remains of Six U-S Soldiers Arrive at Hickam Air Force Base for Identification

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson
Tom Holland
Tom Holland

(KHNL) - More than 33-thousand U-S troops died in the Korean War. Eight-thousand are "still listed" as missing.

Today, the remains of six U-S soldiers arrived at Hickam Air Force Base for identification.

It might be decades later, but the sacrifices made by these fallen heros are not forgotten.

"We have to honor our American service men no matter how long ago the war was, 40 plus years, the Korean War," said Republican Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who is running for U-S president led negotiations with North Korea to secure the return of the remains.

Yesterday, Governor Richardson was at a ceremony in Panmunjom, North Korea. The six sets of remains were inside individual black cases and handed across the D-M-Z line to waiting U-S forces on the South Korean side of 39th parallel.

"This was a unilateral and humanitarian act by the North Koreans and it's appreciated, now hopefully they will dismantle their nuclear weapons," said Governor Bill Richardson.

Identifying the remains of the soldiers will take time.

"You have to track down family members that in many cases we haven't had contact with for over 50 years, and find a suitable donor to get a sample from. That can literally add years to the process," said Tom Holland of Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.

The motto at Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command or JPAC is "Until They're Home" and they will continue to look until all 8,100 are home, bringing closure for thousands of families.

JPAC is the only organization that performs the scientific identification process of unaccounted servicemen from our nations past conflicts.