Progress on Korean War Personnel Accounting

Aug. 1, 2018 PRINT | E-MAIL
Korean War Statistics: Total Personnel unaccounted-for  76911
Completed Republic of Korea (ROK) Joint Field Activities (JFAs): 1996 - present  57
Completed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) JFAs: 1996 - 2005  33


Category Total Each Category Accounted-for
            

DPRK: Remains recovered and repatriated through unilateral turnover, 1990-1994 in 208 caskets2 (K-208) or JFA in 229 caskets, 1996-2005


K-208 (208 Caskets)
 JFA (229 Caskets)            


(K-208 - 182,
JFA - 153)

335

DPRK: Remains repatriated through unilateral turnover 2007

7 Individuals

6
 DPRK: Remains repatriated through unilateral turnover 20183
55 boxes   0

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP) in Hawaii:
Unknown remains disinterred 1999-present4

197 Caskets

105
People's Republic of China (PRC):
Remains repatriated through JFAs
1 Individual 1
Japan: Remains repatriated through JFAs 1 Individual 1
ROK: Remains repatriated through JFAs since 1982 - present 25 Individuals 17
Total remains identified and accounted-for, 1982 – present 465

Korean War Accounting Efforts on the Peninsula

Korean War Personnel Accounting main lines of effort::
  • Repatriation of U.S. remains recovered by, and under DPRK control. On July 27, 2018, the Korean People’s Army of the DPRK turned over 55 boxes of remains to UN officials in accordance with a commitment for repatriation as agreed upon in a Joint Statement signed by President Trump and Chairman Kim during the June 2018 Singapore Summit. On several occasions in the past, the DPRK officials have indicated they possess as many as 200 sets of remains they had recovered over the years. A definitive number has never been confirmed.
  • Identification of remains already recovered and under U.S. control. Remains recovered during and/or shortly after the Korean War that could not be identified were buried as unknowns in 866 graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP). There is one set of unknown remains from the Korean War buried at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. To date, 197 unknowns buried in the NMCP have been disinterred by DPAA, or its predecessor organizations; 105 have been identified and others are undergoing analysis at DPAA’s Laboratory in Hawaii using forensic anthropology, odontology, sampling for DNA, and other scientific methods.
  • Investigative and remains recovery operations in the ROK and the PRC. Approximately 950 personnel are missing in the ROK and fewer than 20 are known to be missing in the PRC. DPAA continues to work with both partner nations on these efforts.
  • Joint Field Activities (JFAs) in the DPRK. JFAs consist of investigative and recovery operations. The DoD conducted 33 JFAs in the DPRK from 1996 through 2005. The Secretary of Defense is authorized to reimburse costs associated with efforts to recover remains, but does not pay for remains or information. Also included in the Singapore Joint Statement was the commitment to recover remains. Although yet to be scheduled, if DoD-Korean People’s Army negotiations to consider the resumption of field operations were to be successful, included would be planning and logistical discussions.
  • Korean War-era archives. DoD continues to conduct archival research in the United States, the ROK, Russia, Eastern Europe, and the PRC. DoD has also conducted research in North Korean archives, and currently there is an arrangement with the PRC for the People’s Liberation Army to search its military records for information on U.S. personnel, in particular since Chinese Communist Forces administered and operated the POW camps in North Korea for most of the war.
  • Oral history programs in the U.S., ROK, Russia, and the PRC. DoD periodically interviews Korean War veterans in the United States, the ROK, Russia and the PRC. These efforts are designed to obtain information that will help determine the circumstances of loss for missing servicemen; build DoD’s knowledge base of Korean War loss incidents; and gain eyewitness accounts of prison camp life and prisoner movements.
  • Live Prisoner Issue. Finding live U.S. personnel is a high priority of our accounting effort, when and if information is reported claiming a sighting of a live U.S. person still held from the Korean War. The Department of Defense (DoD), with the full support of the U.S. Intelligence Community, has investigated all credible reports and sightings of alleged U.S. survivors of the Korean War in North Korea. Since 1995, more than 25,000 defectors from the DPRK have been screened for information concerning U.S. personnel possibly in the North. To date, this effort has produced no useful information. Most reports pertain to six known U.S. military defectors. Of the six defectors, five are reported to have died in the North, and one, Sergeant Jenkins, now deceased, was returned to U.S. control in 2004.




1 This is a working number from the Personnel Missing Korea (PMKOR) list; approximately 5,300 lost in the DPRK.
2 208 boxes of remains received from DPRK, many of which were commingled; possibly 400 remains in the 208 boxes.
3 55 boxes of remains received from the DPRK on July 27, 2018, it is likely there may be more than 55 separate individuals represented.
4 Original estimate of 866 sets of Unknown remains located in NMCP when exhumations began in 1999. The Total displayed represents disinterred caskets to date.
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