Military identifies remains of Korean War soldier from Kansas

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SEDGWICK, Kan. (KSNW) – The remains of Korean War soldier from Kansas have been identified nearly seven decades after his death.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Tuesday that Army Sgt. James E. Smith, Jr., 21, of Sedgwick, Kansas, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for August 19, 2019.

He was reported missing in action on Nov. 25, 1950, when enemy forces attacked his unit near Kujang-dong, North Korea. Following the war, several returned American prisoners of war reported that Smith had died in January 1951, in the vicinity of Pukchin-Tarigol, a temporary prisoner of war camp.

On July 27, 2018, following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were taken to a laboratory for identification.

Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA and autosomal DNA analysis to identify Smith’s remains.

Smith’s remains will be buried at Arlington Cemetery, although the date hasn’t been determined.

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