North Korea fails to attend talks on repatriation of USA war dead

Jul 12, 2018, 21:57
North Korea fails to attend talks on repatriation of USA war dead

North Korean negotiators failed to show up for scheduled talks with the U.S.at Panmunjeom, Thursday, on repatriating the remains of USA soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, indicating a possible rift between the two countries in ongoing denuclearization talks. The U.S. -led United Nations Command's public affairs office referred questions to the State Department.

On Monday Trump reiterated his confidence in Kim.

"The White House has essentially tried to shoot for the moon and total disarmament, and it's clear that North Korea is not only not willing to do that, but sees very little reason to take steps in that direction".

"Repatriation of US remains from North Korea will be important not just to American families, but to building trust between the USA and North Korea as well", Pompeo said earlier this week.

The North's lack of economic development since the war ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, meant it built fewer roads, dams and buildings to disturb or cover remains.

Kim refers to Trump as "your excellency" five times, praises the "improvement of relations" between the USA and North Korea, and expresses hope for a new future.

KCNA did not say when the trip was made, but Kim Yong Chol, Kim's powerful right-hand man, told a visiting Seoul official last week that the leader was away for a trip to a "local region".

Trump called Kim "Little Rocket Man" or "Rocket Man" in several tweets in 2017 and early 2018 and has said that North Korea's continued threats against the USA would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

In December, the UN Security Council limited such exports to North Korea at 500,000 barrels a year.

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

Pompeo also brought a letter for Kim from the president but didn't get to meet the North Korean dictator. Add North Korea as an interest to stay up to date on the latest North Korea news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

While reports stated the return would not involve payment, other than reimbursement for the costs incurred in recovering and repatriating the remains, reference to payments may have displeased Pyongyang.

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

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