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N. Korea: We Moved US Troops' Remains 'En Masse'

Pyongyang warning may be aimed at launching talks: 'NYT'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2014 7:08 AM CDT
North Korea: US Troops' Remains Could Be Lost
This file photo provided by the US Defense Dept. shows Pfc. Philip W. Ackley's Korean War dog tag, which was found in a North Korean battlefield area where Ackley is believed to have been lost.   (AP Photo/US Defense Dept., File)

(Newser) – More than six decades after the Korean War ended, some 7,800 American soldiers are still considered missing in North Korea—and the country is warning that their remains could soon be gone, the New York Times reports. The remains were "carried away en masse" from burial areas "due to construction projects of hydropower stations, land rezoning, and other gigantic nature-remaking projects," a Pyongyang spokesman says, blaming "hostile (US) policy" for ending earlier joint work to recover the remains. "The situation clearly proves" that an American pledge to obtain the remains is "nothing but a lie."

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Previous joint recovery efforts were halted over North Korean nuclear tests. But the White House shouldn't forget "the proverb saying that even a skeleton cries out of yearning for the homeland," the spokesman says. The Times sees the warning as an attempt to spark a conversation between Washington and Pyongyang; the remains have often been used to urge talks. For North Korea, relaunching recovery efforts could mean better relations between the countries, as well as a cash flow from the US, NBC News notes. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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