President Donald Trump said during a Wednesday interview with Fox News that thousands of Americans implored him during the 2016 election to bring home from North Korea the remains of U.S. troops who died during the Korean war – including parents of those fallen veterans.
Trump indicated he struck a deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to make it happen.
“One of the things that really I’m happy is that the soldiers that died in Korea, their remains are going to be coming back home,” Trump said. “And we have thousands of people that have asked for that — thousands and thousands of people.”
“So many people asked when I was on the campaign,” Trump said. “I’d say, ‘wait a minute, I don’t have any relationship’ — but they said, ‘when you can, president, we’d love our son to be brought back home’ — you know, the remains.”
While Trump is correct that many families are still trying to bring home the remains of loved ones lost in the Korean War, it is doubtful that many – if any – of the people who approached him on the campaign trail were the parents of lost soldiers.
More likely, Trump made up the story on the fly.
American involvement in the Korean War ended in 1953. If we most generously assume that the parent of a future solider was 18 when their child was born, and that their child was 18 when he was killed on the last day of the war, that means a parent would have been 99 in 2016.
While almost all parents of fallen Korean War veterans would’ve been much older than that in 2016, it’s not inconceivable that a 99-year-old parent of a fallen Korean War veteran might have approached Trump during the campaign. But note that Trump claimed multiple parents approached him to say, “we’d love our son to be brought back home.” That seems exceedingly unlikely, at best.