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PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — The Latest on U.S. war remains returned by North Korea (all times local):

11:40 p.m.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says that North Korea’s return of remains from the Korean War sets a “positive tone” for diplomacy on other issues, such as the denuclearization negotiations.

Mattis said that future efforts to send more search teams into North Korea to locate additional remains are under consideration.

Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon Friday, Mattis said the transfer of 55 cases of remains “sets a positive environment” and is a humanitarian act that “is a step in the right direction.”

Mattis said it took coordination over the last month with the North Koreans to determine where the remains would be delivered and where the U.S. plane would land.

The handover follows through on a promise North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon) made to President Donald Trump when the leaders met in June and is the first tangible result from the much-hyped summit. Trump welcomed the repatriation and thanked Kim in a statement Friday at the White House.

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11 p.m.

President Donald Trump is thanking North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon) for “fulfilling a promise” to return remains of missing U.S. soldiers from the Korean War.

Kim promised to return the remains at a summit with Trump in Singapore in June.

A U.S. military plane flew to Wonsan, North Korea, on Friday to pick up what are believed to be the remains of U.S. service members killed in the War.

The 55 cases of remains are to be honored at a ceremony next Wednesday at a base in South Korea.

The remains are expected to be transferred to a base in Hawaii for verification sometime after Wednesday’s ceremony.

Trump said Friday that he wanted to thank Kim in front of the news media for “keeping his word.”

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12:20 p.m.

The U.N. Command says the 55 cases of war remains retrieved from North Korea will be honored at a ceremony next Wednesday at a base in South Korea.

A U.S. military plane flew to Wonsan, North Korea, on Friday to pick up what are believed to be the remains of U.S. servicemen killed in the Korean War. The transfer is meant to fulfill a commitment made by leader Kim Jong Un during his summit with President Donald Trump in June.

U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Vincent K. Brooks in a statement from the U.N. Command called the retrieval mission successful. “Now, we will prepare to honor our fallen before they continue on their journey home.”

Sometime after Wednesday’s ceremony, the remains are expected to be transferred to a base in Hawaii for testing.

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11:20 a.m.

A U.S. military plane has returned from North Korea and landed at Osan Air Base in South Korea after reportedly picking up the remains of what are believed to be U.S. servicemen killed during the Korean War.

An Associated Press journalist at the base outside the capital Seoul saw the plane land Friday, and the White House earlier confirmed that North Korea has turned over the potential remains.

Details were still sketchy but reports said that Pyongyang would return about 55 sets of remains from the 1950-53 Korean War, a step meant to fulfill a commitment made by leader Kim Jong Un during his summit with President Donald Trump in June.

About 7,700 U.S. soldiers are listed as missing from the Korean War, and 5,300 of the remains are believed to still be in North Korea. The war killed millions, including 36,000 American soldiers.

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11:05 a.m.

The White House says North Korea has turned over the potential remains of American service members who have been missing since the Korean war, following through on a promise made last month to President Donald Trump.

The White House says in a statement Thursday night that a U.S. Air Force plane containing remains of fallen service members has departed Wonsan, North Korea, and is en route to Osan Air Base in South Korea.

The transfer of remains represents one of the first tangible results of Trump’s June 12 summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It sets off a lengthy series of forensic examinations and tests to determine if the remains are human, and whether they are actually American or allied troops killed in the conflict.

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10:30 a.m.

A U.S. military plane left from Osan Air Base for North Korea on Friday to pick up the remains of what are believed to be U.S. servicemen killed during the Korean War, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

The U.S. military and South Korean government couldn’t immediately confirm the report, which was based on an unnamed South Korean government source. But there were signs Friday morning of preparations to receive the remains at the base south of Seoul.

If a transfer takes place, Pyongyang will likely return about 55 sets of remains from the 1950-53 Korean War, a step meant to fulfill a commitment made by leader Kim Jong Un during his summit with President Donald Trump in June.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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