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

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 12, 2018

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Virginia, wrote to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Thursday, asking him to answer a number of questions related to North Korea's progress, in light of statements made by President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

While President Trump claimed in a recent speech that Pyongyang had begun the process to return the remains, State Department officials say they have not yet received any, and anonymously confirmed Thursday that North Korean officials simply did not show at a meeting to discuss the transaction.

The remains of almost 8,000 US troops remain unaccounted for on the Korean peninsula, and 5,300 of those bodies are believed to be located somewhere north of the demilitarized zone.

Mr Kim had agreed during the summit with President Trump to recover "POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified".

According to estimates from the Pentagon, 7,700 USA troops are still unaccounted for from the Korean War.

Organisers have also sought to invite several North Korean moviemakers but are waiting for official approval.

Despite the apparent snub and worsening relations with North Korea, Donald Trump tweeted on Monday he has "confidence" that Mr Kim would honour the denuclearisation "contract" they signed at the Singapore summit.

At high-level talks last week, North Korea and the US confirmed they are still poles apart on the next steps to be taken in the process.

American officials have been on standby for weeks and have sent wooden coffins and flags to Panmunjom in preparation for a handover.

When Trump announced the U.S. would halt joint military drills with South Korea, he backed his controversial move by citing the "tremendous" costs of such exercises.

However, while the North's attitude may further impede the denuclearization talks, the regime is unlikely to boycott them.

"I firmly believe that the strong will, honest efforts and unique approach of myself and Your Excellency Mr. President aimed at opening up a new future between the DPRK and the USA will surely come to fruition", Kim said in the letter.

He also accused China, the North's sole, yet powerful, ally, of seeking to undermine the deal.

The transfer of remains between North Korea and the United States has not taken place since 2005.

Between 1996 and 2005, some 33 recovery operations were conducted in North Korea which saw 200 sets of remains returned.

It would be the first such repatriation in more than a decade after a joint search effort was halted amid rising tensions over the North's nuclear weapons program.

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