North Korea returns remains of US soldiers killed in Korean War

Some 7,700 are listed as missing between 1950 and 1953

North Korea returns remains of US soldiers killed in Korean War

UN honour guards carry the boxes containing remains believed to be from American servicemen killed during the 1950-53 Korean War on the arrival from North Korea, at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea | Image: Ahn Young-joon/AP/Press Association Images

North Korea has returned the remains of what are believed to be US servicemen killed during the Korean War.

A US military plane has made a rare trip from a South Korean airbase to a coastal city in North Korea in order to retrieve the remains of the fallen servicemen.

During their summit last month, Kim Jong Un had promised US President Donald Trump that the handover would happen - making this the first tangible result from the talks.

A formal repatriation ceremony is going to be held at Osan Air Base in South Korea on August 1st, and on Thursday serving US soldiers and a military honour guard lined the tarmac to receive the remains.

They were carried in boxes covered in blue United Nations flags.

Approximately, 7,700 US soldiers are listed as missing from the Korean War between 1950 and 1953 - and 5,300 of the remains are still believed to be in North Korea.

Millions died during the war, including 36,000 US soldiers.

In a statement, the White House said: "Today, (Kim) is fulfilling part of the commitment he made to the president to return our fallen American service members.

"We are encouraged by North Korea's actions and the momentum for positive change."

On Twitter, Mr Trump added: "The Remains of American Servicemen will soon be leaving North Korea and heading to the United States! After so many years, this will be a great moment for so many families. Thank you to Kim Jong Un."

The transfer of the remains has coincided with the 65th anniversary of the 1953 armistice agreement that ended fighting - although North and South Korea are technically still at war because a peace treaty was never signed.

The remains are expected to be flown to Hawaii for scientific testing to identify them.