US officials say North Korea has returned 55 boxes believed to contain the remains of US troops killed during the Korean War, but included just one military identification tag.
A forensic expert said initial tests showed the remains were “likely to be American”.
The boxes are en route from South Korea to Hawaii for extensive examination.
North Korea previously returned the purported remains of foreign soldiers that turned out to be misidentified.
On Wednesday, the US military held a repatriation ceremony at Osan air base in South Korea, where the boxes had arrived the previous week.
According to a forensic anthropologist working for the Hawaii-based agency in charge of identifying the remains John Byrd, there’s no reason at this point to doubt that they do relate to Korean War losses.
He said officials have been in touch with the family of the service member referenced in the identifying tag, known as a dog tag, and emphasised that it was too early to confirm if that identity matched accompanying remains.