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Excavations for Remains of US Service Members in North Korea May Resume

Excavations for Remains of US Service Members in North Korea May Resume”

The transfer of remains between North Korea and the United States has not taken place since 2005.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited North Korea late last week for his first overnight stay, meeting with senior North Korean officials but not Kim Jong-un.

However, officials say it could be months before excavations can begin and years until the remains are identified.

North Korea said Saturday it was seeking the "earliest start of the working-level talks" on the recovery of USA remains.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he does, in fact, plan to give North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a CD with the Elton John hit "Rocket Man", as well as another mystery gift "at a certain period".

Kim Boo-kyum, minister of the interior and safety, said the suspension of the civilian drills was a follow-up to the suspension of the military exercises amid recent changes in "South-North relations and other security situations". US investigators collected a further 230 boxes of bones and material in a decade of digging.

U.S. negotiators arrived Thursday at the militarized border between the two Koreas as previously announced by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and were kept waiting, the Yonhap News Agency reported, citing diplomatic officials it didn't identify.

In the meantime, satellite images of a missile-manufacturing facility in the city of Hamhung showed North Korea is expanding its ballistic weapons program. Sending the bodies back would demonstrate that North Korea can be trusted to some degree, and cost Pyongyang nothing in terms of military posture.

Kim Jong-un in a potato field.

But Trump tweeted Monday that he has "confidence" that Kim would honour the denuclearisation "contract" they signed at the summit and accused China - the isolated North's powerful neighbour and ally - of seeking to undermine the deal.

If the agency does return to North Korea, he said cooperation will be key.

Ahead of the summit in Singapore, North Korean officials sometimes did not turn up to meetings where their US counterparts were expecting them, causing tension between the two negotiating partners.

Trump later added on Twitter that the decision would "save a fortune". The U.S. also risks giving the North Koreans leverage to continue diplomacy and drag out disarmament talks.

The Trump administration's latest announcement to slap tariffs on an extra $200 billion of Chinese imports has sparked an outcry from China, whose commerce ministry said on Wednesday the USA move is "unacceptable" and hurts America's own interests, China and the rest of the world. "Instead, he will feel more eased sided by South Korea and China and can certainly leverage the three-to-one advantage to constrain the U.S".



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