North Koreans Miss Meeting About US Soldier Remains

North Koreans Miss Meeting About US Soldier Remains

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he received a note from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un dated July 6 in which Kim said he believed their efforts to improve relations will succeed.

Earlier Thursday, a diplomatic source here said the US and North Korea were still in talks to set a date for working-level dialogue over the repatriation of remains of American troops.

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.

However, critics have repeatedly said that Mr Trump has since failed to secure any firm commitments from North Korea toward the dismantling of its nuclear weapons.

"I extend my conviction that the epochal progress in promoting the DPRK-US relations will bring our next meeting forward".

In the meeting at the Korean Peninsula's demilitarized zone, the two sides had been expected to discuss the return of USA troops' remains from the 1950-53 Korean War - an arrangement that the State Department had announced after Secretary Michael R. Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang last weekend. Pyongyang has asked the UN Command Armistice Commission to upgrade the talks to a higher level to include a US general, South Korea's foreign ministry said.

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According to the Pentagon, North Korean officials have indicated in the past that they have the remains of as many as 200 USA troops.

President Donald Trump shows the document that he and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un signed acknowledging the progress of the talks and pledge to keep momentum going, after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore, June 12, 2018.

Pompeo told reporters after his visit to North Korea last week that the meeting in the truce village Panmunjom was set for Thursday but "could move by one day or two".

Mr Kim had agreed during the summit with President Trump to recover "POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified". Kim also agreed then to repatriate remains of USA troops who died during the Korean War six decades ago.

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

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said North Korea called at midday Thursday and offered to meet on Sunday instead.

Attached were two images of the letter - one in Korean and the other an English translation.

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