U.S., North Korea meet over return of war remains

Visitors look at the names of U. S. soldiers who were killed in the Korean War at the Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul South Korea Sunday

U.S., North Korea meet over return of war remains

"Great progress being made!"

"I deeply appreciate the energetic and extraordinary efforts made by Your Excellency Mr President for the improvement of relations between the two countries and the faithful implementation of the joint statement", he adds. And after the visit, the North released a statement decrying the Trump administration's "gangster-like demand for denuclearization".

Despite criticisms from Pyongyang, Washington has maintained a positive outlook regarding bilateral talks, and Pompeo said Thursday in Brussels that he was confident that the North Korean government was committed to denuclearization.

"One can only speculate on why it happening now - but it seems that after the political situation surrounding North Korea calmed down, Kim switched his attention from diplomacy to the economy and the on-the-spot guidance - and he is not pleased". There has been very little progress on disarmament since Mr Kim met Donald Trump in Singapore.

The report said the USA planned to send cases to the Demilitarized Zone and that North Korea would place the remains in them.

The illegal supplies were provided through ship-to-ship transfers at sea using North Korean tankers, according to the report. The United States initially planned to hold a colonel-level meeting, but it accepted North Korea's request to move up the rank.

The committee was expected to take five days to consider the request, which China and Russian Federation are expected to block.

The letter was dated July 6, exactly a day before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo closed talks with North Korea during an official visit to Pyongyang.

Returning the remains was part of the deal signed by Kim and Trump in Singapore.

The discussions, which took place in the demilitarized zone between the Koreas, follow a commitment made by the North during the June 12 summit in Singapore to recover the remains of US prisoners of war and those missing in action and immediately repatriate the remains of those that have already been identified. A State Department spokesman said later that the North Koreans asked for the meeting to be postponed until Sunday but gave no reason for the delay.

U.S. officials have previously said it could take years to identify all the remains and to determine whether they are, in fact, Americans.

Defence officials have already shipped dozens of cases to Panmunjom in anticipation of receiving the remains of U.S. troops.

Since then, Trump has said or tweeted several times that remains had already been returned or were in the process of being returned but there have been no repatriations reported thus far.

But Pentagon officials cautioned it is unclear just how much North Korea is preparing to hand over. Richard Downes, executive director of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, said recently that he had been told the North may have the remains of more than 200 American service members that were likely recovered from land during farming or construction.

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