North Korean officials no-show for meeting about US troop remains

Evarado Alatorre
Julio 12, 2018

Roh Kyu-deok, a spokesman for South Korea's Foreign Ministry, said the South Korean government is "constantly in contact with the USA counterpart" about progress of the talks on war remains repatriation, but declined to comment on any details, saying that all inquiries on the issue be directed to the US authorities.

USA 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.

Trump agreed to halt bi-annual United States military exercises conducted with South Korean forces, while Kim made a vague commitment to denuclearization.

Pompeo, speaking Wednesday to reporters as he arrived in Brussels for a NATO summit with President Donald Trump, said that change was up to North Koreans. Pompeo and his delegation had just traveled to North Korea to meet with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol.

The US military has since announced that 100 wooden coffins have been moved to the inter-Korean border in preparation. The meeting was about returning the remains of American soldiers from the Korean War.

On Thursday, however, Department of Defense and United Nations Command officials were left waiting in the DMZ's Joint Security Area.

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Trump also announced that the US would suspend "war games" with South Korea.

Byrd, a forensic anthropologist, was part of a 15-strong DPAA team in North Korea 20 years ago.

However, recovery efforts were suspended when the relationship between both countries worsened, as the North began the advancement of its nuclear programme.

President Donald Trump said he hasn't yet given Kim Jong Un a CD with the song "Rocket Man" he autographed, but still plans to.

South Korea's urbanisation is one reason why more than a 1000 American service members are unaccounted for, said McKeague. 5,300 of that number are believed to have been killed north of the 38th parallel, which marks the border between the two Koreas.

The agency also says that North Korean officials have indicated they have "as many as 200 sets of remains" already recovered that could be ready for return. Kim praises the significance of their meeting and the joint statement they put out, but the letter doesn't do much to support Trump's claim that progress is being made in his stated goal of denuclearizing North Korea.

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