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Local Korean War veteran reacts to historic summit

(WOLF) -- Tuesday’s summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is bringing hope to families of Korean War soldiers still missing in action.

The two signed a document committing to recovering those remains and bringing them home.

This handshake bringing forth emotion in those who fought on the front lines in Korea nearly 70 years ago.

“I thought it was great. You’ve got two different people, you got a dictator and a president and they shake hands. Like I says bygones is bygones.”

Edward Banaszek served in the Marine Corps for 22 years, spending about 13 months of that time overseas during the Korean War.

“I feel proud I was there, you know? And I have a hat with the ‘Korean veteran’ and when we were on parades which you have the ribbons and badges from Korea the UN and all that, not too many people had them," Banaszek, of Bear Creek Township, said.

He’s been keeping up with the news lately, specifically the historic summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Tuesday.

After a five-hour meeting, both leaders signed a joint statement agreeing to work towards denuclearization on the Korean peninsula and establish new relations between the countries for the peace and prosperity of its citizens.

“Today is the beginning of an arduous process. Our eyes are wide open, but peace is always worth the effort, especially in this case. This should have been done years ago," President Trump said Tuesday.

It’s a sentiment Banaszek agrees with.

“I think Trump has done the best thing. I think it will end, I really do. They’re going to end the war, sign a peace treaty."

The last key point on the joint agreement is a commitment from both countries to recover the remains of POWs and MIA soldiers.

Of the 35,000 Americans that died during the war, 7,700 are still unaccounted for.

Banaszek says it will likely be hard on the families of those soldiers when that day does come.

“They would appreciate it, don’t get me wrong, they would really appreciate it. But it would bring back memories and it’d be tough on them.”

But he’s eager for their return.

“Like they say, leave nobody behind, bring everybody back, and I’m all for it.”

That joint statement did not give a clear timeline for the recovery of those remains, but it does call for the immediate return of those that have already been identified.

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