Richardson delegation retrieves remains of Korean War GIs

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PANMUNJOM -- U.S. envoys entered South Korea from North Korea in a rare border-crossing Wednesday after securing the remains of six American soldiers from the Korean War and pushing for action on the North's nuclear disarmament.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Anthony Principi, former U.S. veterans affairs secretary, were greeted at the frontier between North and South by U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Alexander Vershbow and U.S. military officials...

On Wednesday, the Americans drove two hours from the North Korean capital Pyongyang along virtually empty roads, with the remains of the soldiers transported separately in small, black cases. They then walked across the North-South frontier at the truce village of Panmunjom, where the two Koreas stand face-to-face across the border that has divided the peninsula since a 1953 cease-fire ended the Korean War...

Principi said the mission to deliver the remains was one of the most emotional moments of his life...

More than 33,000 U.S. troops died in the Korean War, which began in June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea. Some 8,100 U.S. servicemen still are listed as missing.

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