Local Korean War Veterans hopeful for repaired ties - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Local Korean War Veterans hopeful for repaired ties

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HARRISBURG, Ill. -- A group of local Korean War veterans weighs in on relations between the U.S. and North Korea. This follows the summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in June and, more recently, the return of what is believed to be the remains of 55 U.S. service members. 

Both Harold Magnuson and Roy Hughes fought in the the Korean War up until the ceasefire and say they are eager to have those remains identified. "I knew quiet a few of my guys who went missing. I'm going to be listening when they get some of these identified," Magnuson says. 

Although the veterans believe there could be some issues with the return taking place decades after the war. "After all of these years, there's not going to be very many of them with close relatives. It might be distant relatives around," Magnuson explains. 

And Hughes has concerns that the remains may not be returned to the correct family.

Magnuson and Hughes, along with Army Veteran Rodger Papproth who served as a peace keeper, say this diplomatic act and recent talks are just the start to rebuilding ties, but it's better than fighting. "I guess with them saying they're going to dismantle their weapons... it's a good thing," Papproth says. 

The veterans all hoping one day, differences can be put aside. "That will be the prayer of every G.I. that's ever had to go," Hughes says. 

The remains of an estimated 5,300 U.S. Service members are believed to be in North Korea. Although North Korea and South Korea have recently talked about formally ending the war, a peace treaty has yet to be signed.

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