Monday, 19 November, 2018

Kim hopes for 'improvement of relations' with United States in letter to Trump

Trump: Kim Will Get 'Rocket Man' CD Later, Plus Surprise 'Little Gift' Kim Jong Un snubbed Mike Pompeo for potato farm visit, state media suggests
Ellis Copeland | 12 July, 2018, 22:00

He praised officials of the county, which is close to Mount Paektu, the spiritual home of the Korean people and claimed by Pyongyang's propaganda to be the actual birthplace of his father and predecessor Kim Jong Il.

The North, instead, reportedly proposed holding general-level military talks with the United Nations Command (UNC) to discuss returning the war remains to the U.S. It is unknown whether the North Korean side gave any prior notification to the U.S. about this.

Pompeo traveled to the North last week to try to iron out the details amid criticism that the USA administration had already given up too much, too soon and was being played.

Trump has expressed an eagerness to tout the recovery of the war dead, telling Fox News that Kim was "giving us back the remains of probably 7,500 soldiers".

U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) director Kelly McKeague stated in an interview with Reuters that the agency is "hopeful these discussions on July 12 will lead to further discussions and negotiations directly with the North Koreans by which we can actually get down to the detailed planning".

He was referring the summit statement signed by the two leaders - the first-ever U.S. 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.

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"It takes anywhere from a few months to, in many cases, years, before we can make an identification", Kelly McKeague, head of the USA agency that tracks down remains of USA soldiers lost on foreign battlefields, said in an interview.

The last return of USA remains between 1990 and 1995 involved just over 200 caskets.

"A very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea".

Kim agreed to "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula and destroy a "major" missile testing site during his meeting with Trump.

It had been expected at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom.

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. "We're going to continue to work through that", the vice president said.

North Korea proposed to reschedule the meeting for Sunday.

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