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 / Updated  / Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A U.S. government scientist who has seen the contents of 55 boxes of remains turned over by North Korea says the remains are "consistent with being Americans."

John E. Byrd, director of the laboratory in Hawaii that is working on identification of the remains, told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that it is too early to know how many people are represented in the remains.

Byrd says the bones appear to have been preserved from the Korean War era of 1950-53, and military equipment such as canteens and boots that were provided along with the remains are consistent with that used by U.S. forces.

Byrd says the only identification item provided by the North Koreans was a single military ID tag. He says that person's family has been notified.