"Some have called the Korean War the 'Forgotten War.' But today we prove these heroes were never forgotten. Today our boys are coming home," he said in a televised address.
Pence said he was honored that US President Donald Trump had asked him to attend the ceremony. Trump thanked his deputy late on Wednesday for delivering a "truly magnificent tribute."
"Incredibly beautiful ceremony as U.S. Korean War remains are returned to American soil. Thank you to Honolulu and all of our great Military participants on a job well done. A special thanks to Vice President Mike Pence," he tweeted.
Wooden boxes with 55 sets of remains were flown to a US air base in South Korea from the North last Friday as part of June’s agreement between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. They will be formally identified in Hawaii.
US President Donald Trump thanked earlier Kim Jong-un for fulfilling his promise and returning the remains of US service members who were killed in the Cold War era.
The White House praised the handover as a significant first step to begin the repatriation of remains from North Korea. An estimated 5,300 US troops fell on its territory during the 1950-1953 conflict.
The transfer marked the 65th anniversary since the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended fighting on the Korean peninsula.