Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

North Korea no-shows at meeting to discuss return of United States soldier remains

North Korea no-shows at meeting to discuss return of United States soldier remains

During June's meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader said the country is committed to getting the remains of United States soldiers killed in the Korean War back to American soil.

"A very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea", Mr Trump tweeted alongside a copy of the letter.

North Korea accused the United States on Saturday of making "gangster-like" demands in the talks in North Korea, contradicting Pompeo who said the old enemies had made progress.

In the tweet sent on Thursday, Trump declared "Great progress being made!" with North Korea, despite signs that diplomacy between the traditional adversaries was running into trouble. The US did not say which countries were illicitly providing Pyongyang with the products.

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According to President Trump, returning the remains of USA troops was agreed upon during the Singapore summit.

But North Korea's delegation failed show up.

Pompeo had said a Pentagon team would meet with the North's officials on or around Thursday at the inter-Korea border to discuss the repatriation.

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. Add North Korea as an interest to stay up to date on the latest North Korea news, video, and analysis from ABC News. The letter was dated July 6, 2018, and was addressed to "H.E. Donald J. Trump", in what appears to be the latest sign that the two men were getting along after making history at the first-ever meeting between a sitting USA president and North Korean supreme leader in Singapore last month.

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The Defense Department estimates there are up to 5,300 sets of USA service member remains still somewhere in North Korea. Kim also agreed then to repatriate remains of USA troops who died during the Korean War six decades ago.

There are about 7,700 U.S. soldiers classified as missing in action in the war.

Pompeo has insisted that a raft of tough economic sanctions imposed on North Korea would remain in place until "final, fully verified denuclearization" occurs.

The Department of Defense estimates that North Korea is holding about 200 sets of remains from some 5,300 American military personnel believed missing in the country.

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"The US wanted to have talks as early as 12 July but the North did not seem to be ready", an unnamed Seoul official said.

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