Search for North Korea MIAs Over Before It Began

$5.7M search for soldier remains was just days from restarting
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2012 10:28 AM CDT
Search for North Korea MIAs Over Before It Began
The sun sets over Pyongyang, North Korea.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

A program to recover the remains of the 5,500 American soldiers missing in North Korea from the Korean War has been shut down again, just two weeks after being announced, due to renewed tensions over North Korea's planned satellite launch, reports the New York Times. The US was going to pay for the $5.7 million program, and two 30-member forensic investigation teams were just days away from beginning recovery work. “We have suspended that effort because we believe that North Korea has not acted appropriately in recent days and weeks and that it’s important for them to return to the standards of behavior that the international community has called for,” a Pentagon spokesman says.

The United States' new food aid program to the North has also been canceled because of the North's plan to launch a satellite on April 15, in celebration of the centenary of the birth of Kim Il Sung. North Korea claims the launch is for peaceful purposes and is allowed under international agreements, but the United States and other countries say the launch contravenes the ban on ballistic missile development. Japan's defense minister has ordered the country's military to ready its missile defense program, CNN reports. (More North Korea stories.)

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