NATIONAL -- Remains of U.S. soldiers who fought and gave their lives during the Korean War are on their way home from North Korea. 

  • Remains of US soldiers who fought in Korean War return home
  • Soldiers' remains coming from North Korea
  • Kim Jong Un agreed to return after meeting with Trump

More than 36,000 Americans died in the Korean War. Nearly 8,000 were unaccounted for, and more than half are believed to have been in North Korea. 

The UN Command says 55 cases of remains believed to be U.S. servicemen killed in the Korean War were retrieved Friday morning at the Osan Airbase in South Korea after a U.S. military plane flew to North Korea to pick them up. 

A ceremony was held in South Korea Friday morning as the remains of U.S. soldiers were handed over. The ceremony comes on the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended hostilities in the Korean War.

It could take months, maybe even years, before those remains are identified.  

The return of U.S. soldiers' remains is one of the commitments North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un agreed to when he and President Trump met last month in Singapore. 

The White House say it's "encouraged by North Korea's actions and the momentum for positive change." President Trump is positive about his current relationship with Kim Jong Un, however, Vice President Mike Pence remains very reserved about it. 

"There is no escaping the plain fact that North Korea's leadership has exacted unparalleled privation and cruelty upon its people for decades," Pence said. 

"For nine months no nuclear tests, no rockets going up, no missiles going over Japan. We got our three hostages back," Trump explained. "Now I have a great relationship. I think with Chairman Kim and I, a lot of good things are going to happen."

A formal return ceremony will be held August 1.