Sunday, 18 November, 2018

North Korea didn't show up at meeting with U.S.

U.S. Defence POW  MIA Accounting Agency Kelly McKeague whose agency tracks down and repatriates remains of U.S. soldiers lost on foreign battlefields speaks at an interview with Reuters in Tokyo Japan Trump releases 'very nice' letter from Kim Jong Un | Bangkok Post: news
Andrew Cummings | 13 July, 2018, 00:56

In it, Kim describes his landmark June 12 summit with Trump in Singapore as the "start of a meaningful journey" and expresses confidence that the "sincere efforts" of both sides "will surely come to fruition". The U.S. Embassy in Seoul said it had no immediate information.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang for two days last week in a bid to flesh out denuclearization commitments made during last month's historic summit.

While recovering the war dead would provide Trump a political victory similar to Kim's May release of three American detainees, it would do little to advance the goal of dismantling the regime's weapons program.

The US military has since announced that 100 wooden coffins have been moved to the inter-Korean border in preparation.

Pompeo said his counterpart Kim Yong Chol in North Korea "made a commitment" that North Korea intends "to denuclearize".

The repatriation of the remains of US soldiers from North Korea has been a major issue between Washington and Pyongyang since the end of the Korean War, when thousands of Americans were left in Korea either missing in action or as prisoners of war.

Mr Pompeo had said progress was made during his two-day visit to Pyongyang. Kim committed in the meeting to the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the US.

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There are about 7,700 United States soldiers classified as missing in action from the war.

According to Choi's source, the North Korean government says it has already unofficially presented its findings to Japan, but Kim has ordered the probe outcome to be explained again since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration claims to have never been briefed about it.

There is speculation that North Korea may also want payment for the return of the remains, our correspondent adds.

But following the meeting, North Korea released a statement calling the meeting "regrettable" and accusing the U.S. of using "gangster-like" tactics to push it towards nuclear disarmament.

US officials and experts have said the shift in attitude was to be expected as the North Koreans are known for brinkmanship and trying to up the ante ahead of tough negotiations over their nuclear missile program.

"We have to see the USA defense ministry's response, but the UNC reportedly gave a positive signal to North Korea, so there is a good chance of the talks taking place on Sunday", the source said. Trump tweeted last September.

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