Pompeo says "ways to go" before North Korea meets denuclearization pledge

Pompeo says

"We have remains that look to have been in a state of preservation consistent with coming from the Korean War era", he said, and materials provided with the remains included USA -issued military equipment such as canteens and buttons.

However, Air Force General John Hyten, who commands the US Strategic Command, pointed out that North Korea has not launched any missiles since November. DPAA Director Kelly McKeague told reporters that the family members had been warned that that the presence of a dog tag does not mean that the service member's remains are among the boxes.

McKeague declined to reveal the name on the dog tag. U.S. Marines also fought in the famous battle, but mainly along the reservoir's western side.

Speaking Friday before he attends an Asian security forum with North Korea's foreign minister, Pompeo told reporters in Singapore there was "still a ways to go before" achieving the goal of ridding the North of its nuclear weapons.

The US military flew the caskets from Osan Air Base in South Korea.

"There's no reason to doubt it could be Americans given the context", Byrd said. The agency has DNA samples from 92 percent of the families of the almost 7,700 Americans still missing from the Korean War. "In other cases where we don't find compelling matches right away, it could be months or it could even be a few years before we're able to narrow down the identity". It marks the beginning of a long process to identify all the remains.

That process will also determine if each box contains the remains of more than one individual.

Although President Donald Trump has publicly thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for fulfilling the promise he made at their June 12 Singapore summit to return American war remains, US officials had cautioned that little was known about the remains and that they could not be quickly identified.

WATCH: US welcomes home possible 'forgotten war' remains

To work on the additional remains the team of DPAA researchers assigned to identifying the remains of Korean War missing will almost double in size from five to nine.

"No caveats, no conditions set".

On Thursday, Mr. Trump tweeted his thanks to the North Korean leader "for your nice letter - I look forward to seeing you soon!" The United States formally welcomed home the remains at a ceremony on Aug 1.

He also declared shortly after the meeting that North Korea's nuclear threat was now over, inviting backlash from critics who slammed the joint statement as lacking in substance.

Fifty-five cases of remains were airlifted from North Korea to South Korea last week and honored in a solemn ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii Wednesday.

McKeague said he was "guardedly optimistic" that the repatriation would be the "first step of others to account for our missing from the Korean War".

Pompeo cautioned that "no matter how much progress we make", economic sanctions against North Korea will remain, adding that the ball is now in Kim's court.

US officials have been closely watching North Korea's willingness to abandon its nuclear ambitions. "We will see to it in the days ahead that these heroes will be the heroes who led the way to many more homecomings in the future".

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