WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has identified the remains of three more U.S. military personnel lost in the Korean conflict, soldiers who were part of the 55 cases of remains that North Korea transferred last August.
The new identified personnel are the fourth, fifth and sixth remains from the transfer matched with missing soldiers, Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman, a spokesman for the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) told reporters traveling with Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Tuesday.
One set of remains was named: Army Cpl. Charles S. Lawler, a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. The DPAA said in a statement that Lawler, whose hometown was not provided, had “been engaged against enemy forces near Unsan, North Korea, and was reported missing in action on Nov. 2, 1950.”
The identities of the other two were withheld until family members are notified.
Shanahan meet with the personnel at DPAA and praised them for their work, according to the media pool report. TMN is a member of the Pentagon press pool, and shares the reporting provided by the media that rotates travel with the defense secretary.
Earlier this month the DPAA announced it was forced to suspend renewed efforts to locate remains after North Korea shut down communication in the aftermath of the second Trump-Kim summit. The search for remains was started after the first Trump-Kim summit in June 2018.
The first three individuals identified from the materials in the 55 boxes were Army Master Sgt. Charles H. McDaniel of Butler, Mo., and Vernon, Ind.; Army Pfc. William H. Jones of Nash County, N.C.; and Ary Sgt. Frank Julius Suliman of Nixon, N.J..
As of last summer 7,702 U.S. service members remained unaccounted for from the 1950-53 Korean War, according to the DPAA. The six new identifications lower that number to 7,696. About 5,300 of those soldiers were lost in North Korea.
More than 133,000 South Koreans are still unaccounted for, Pentagon officials have said.
The DPAA is the Pentagon entity that works to recover remains from World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and then identify them when possible.
Joint U.S.-North Korean military search teams recovered from North Korea the remains of 229 U.S. service members between 1990 and 2005 in 33 joint recovery operations in North Korea, The search was suspended in 2005 because of rising nuclear tensions.
Last week the South Korean defense ministry said in a news release that body armor that belonged to U.S. soldiers along with Chinese gas masks was unearthed in the heavily fortified border but recently de-mined area that divides the peninsula.