>> A solemn ceremony, as soldiers carry out 55 small cases draped in UN flags. Inside are believed to be the remains of US soldiers killed in the Korean War, finally on Allied soil, after being held for decades in North Korea. On Friday, Pyongyang returned the remains, which were flown to a US Air Base in South Korea, a first step by the country to keeping a promise made in Singapore.
US President Donald Trump Tweeted Thursday evening, thanking Kim Jong Un. He says, after so many years, this will be a great moment for so many families. The pledge to transfer the remains was seen as a goodwill gesture by Kim in June. And though it's taken longer than Washington would've liked, it rekindles hopes for progress in nuclear talks.
Reuters Josh Smith reports.>> This is seen as a major step forward for the talks between North Korea and the United States, because this is one of four bullet points that Trump and Kim Jong Un agreed at during that June Summit. It also helps Trump push back a little bit at some of the narrative of a lack of progress since that summit.
Since there has been some controversy over North Korea's actual willingness to give up its nuclear weapons. This allows both sides to show that they are moving forward.>> The handover also coincided with the anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. And on Friday, Kim Jong Un was seen at a cemetery visiting his own veterans.
The Armistice signed in 1953 ended fighting, but the two Koreas are still technically at war because a peace treaty was never signed. Pyongyang is calling for a formal end, as the first process for peace. And they say, it's an important way Washington can guarantee the North's security in return for giving up its nuclear weapons.
And it seems progress on that is being made as well. According to recent satellite images, North Korea's already started to dismantle a major missile test site. As for the remains, a formal repatriation ceremony will be held at the base on Wednesday. They will then be flown to Hawaii for further processing.
More than 7,700 US troops who fought in the Korean War remain unaccounted for, with 5,300 lost in North Korea.