Monday, 16 July, 2018

Korea proposes general-level military talks over repatriation of American troop remains

Lisa Bryan | 13 July, 2018, 04:59

Addressing Mr Trump, Kim describes their June 12 summit in Singapore, and the resulting joint statement, as the "start of a meaningful journey".

"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 U.S. will surely come to fruition", the North Korean leader wrote.

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

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo failed to make any significant progress in fleshing out the North's denuclearization process during his third visit to Pyongyang last week.

But it made no mention of any efforts by Pyongyang towards denuclearisation - a key issue the two leaders discussed at June's historic summit in Singapore.

The Pentagon says Pyongyang has indicated several times they have as many as 200 sets of remains that could be those of U.S. soldiers who died in the war.

North Korean officials did not show up to a planned meeting with US officials at the demilitarized zone Thursday, where they were expected to continue discussions on repatriating the remains of Americans killed during the Korean War, a senior USA official tells CNN.

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. "We will be ready".


The letter is dated July 6, 2018.

There was no call or explanation from North Korean officials on why they skipped the meeting.

"North Korea apparently wants a USA general to appear at the table to quickly finalize the repatriation issue", the source said.

South Korean officials later said the meeting would be rescheduled for July 15, but that was after US negotiators arrived Thursday at the militarized border between the two Koreas and were kept waiting, the Yonhap News Agency reported, citing diplomatic officials it didn't identify.

The UNC told the USA defense ministry about North Korea's proposal and is waiting for Washington's answer, the source added.

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

The US later said that North Korea had offered to meet on 15 July.

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

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