North Koreans are digging up and HOARDING the remains of American soldiers in the hope they can sell them to the US as relations between the countries improve
- North Koreans have dug up the remains of US soldiers for years, a source says
- When remains are found, people keep them instead of reporting to authorities
- They believe they may get ‘good money’ for the remains when relations improve
- Those expectations have risen since the historic summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un
North Koreans have been digging up and hoarding the remains of American soldiers for years – with the hope they can be sold when relations between the countries improve.
Those expectations have risen in recent weeks following the historic summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump in Singapore earlier this month.
Many North Koreans believe they might get ‘good money’ for the remains of US soldiers killed during the Korean War, a source in the North Hamgyong province told RFA.
As a result, when the remains of US troops killed in battle are found, people keep them instead of reporting them to the authorities, he said.
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North Koreans have been digging up and hoarding the remains of American soldiers hoping they can be sold when relations between the countries improve. Pictured, the armistice agreement in the North Korea’s peace museum in Panmunjom
‘Residents are now paying closer attention to this issue following the announcement in Singapore that North Korea is thinking of sending the remains of U.S. soldiers home,’ the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Despite the lack of information given to North Koreans from the outside world, people living under the isolated regime are very aware that the US have never stopped looking for the remains of missing and dead soldiers, the source says.
‘So they believe they can make good money for these someday, and are keeping them in secret without reporting them to the authorities,’ he said.
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Many remains have been found at the site of the 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir – complete with identifying dog tags, uniforms and boots.
But the source says North Koreans only care about the remains of Americans and leave the remains of any North or South Koreans behind.
At the moment, there is no reward for any remains that are handed over to authorities.
Expectations have risen in recent weeks following the historic summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump (pictured togetjer) in Singapore earlier this month
But the sources says Chinese brokers will pay as much as $1,000 for an American soldier’s body along with some form of identification.
After the Trump-Kim summit, North Korea pledged to return the remains of around 200 soldiers.
But the source claims it is likely there are ‘many more’ that are being hoarded by North Koreans.
Efforts to recover and return the remains have been stalled for more than a decade because of the North’s development of nuclear weapons and U.S. claims that the safety of recovery teams it sent during the administration of President George W. Bush was not sufficiently guaranteed.
North Koreans are very aware that the US have never stopped looking for the remains of missing and dead soldiers, a source says. A file photo shows US troops in Korea in May 1951
This week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says North Korea has not yet turned over suspected remains of U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War.
That’s despite President Donald Trump’s assertion that North Korea has either turned some remains over or is in the process of doing so following his summit with Kim.
Pompeo told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday he is ‘optimistic’ that the U.S. will receive some remains ‘in the not-too-distant future.’
But, he added: ‘We have not yet physically received them.’
Last week, the U.S. military said it moved 100 wooden coffins to the border between North and South Korea in preparation.
Close to 7,700 U.S. troops remain unaccounted for from the Korean War, and about 5,300 of those were lost in North Korea.
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