US expects first group of remains to be returned July 27 from North Korea

The United States is expecting North Korea to return the first group of possible US service member remains on July 27, according to a US official.

July 27, 1953, is when Chinese, North Korean and United Nations forces signed an armistice, establishing the demilitarized zone that separates North Korea and South Korea to this day.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Sunday that the US and North Korea had agreed to restart operations to find the Americans who never returned from the Korean War, and a US official said previously that the two nations were working to transfer the possible remains of some 200 US service members in two to three weeks.

US officials have previously said it could take years to identify all the remains and to determine whether they are, in fact, Americans.

The news came after North Korean officials were no-shows to a meeting at the DMZ on repatriating the remains earlier this month. That move reflected the uncertain situation between the two nations after recently cooled public tensions, most notably at the joint meeting last month of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

CNN reported last month that the US was expecting North Korea to return troop remains from the war, following a recommitment from Trump and Kim at their summit in Singapore.