Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Meeting on American War Remains Skipped by North Korea

South Korea’ Moon says North Korea-U.S. talks ‘on track,’ criticism a ploy North Korean officials fail to show for meeting about repatriating U.S. troop remains
Patty Aguilar | 14 July, 2018, 11:55

Kim Jong-un promised to return them in his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12, but some 100 caskets the U.S. delivered have been waiting at the border since June 24.

The fact that North Korea seem to be dragging its feet on this issue fuels already growing doubts among President Trump's critics about whether the Singapore summit was a success or simply a publicity stunt for Mr Kim, the BBC's Cindy Sui in Seoul reports. Great progress being made!'

"North Korea not showing up could be an expression of dissatisfaction toward the US for making excessive demands in the high-level talks last week", Kyungnam University professor Kim Dong-yub said".

"Wishing that the invariable trust and confidence in Your Excellency Mr. President will be further strengthened in the future process of taking practical actions, I extend my conviction that the epochal progress in promoting the DPRK-U.S. relations will bring our next meeting forward".

"We had a productive conversation", the USA top diplomat said, but added, "There remains a great deal of work to do".

Following the North Koreans' no-show at Thursday's meeting, the USA state department said the two delegations had agreed to meet on 15 July. American officials have been on standby for weeks and have sent wooden coffins and flags to Panmunjom in preparation for a handover.

Kim committed to a nuclear-free North Korea at the end of the convivial meeting, but tensions resurfaced in the following weeks as representatives of both countries began to flesh out the deal.

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Separately, North Korean officials did not show up at planned talks with the United States on Thursday to discuss repatriating the remains of American soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War.

"Both the United States and the North are still in discussion over when to meet", the official added.

About 7,700 USA troops are still listed as missing from the Korean War.

"This path is never easy, but if the agreements at the summit are implemented with sincerity, the goal can be achieved", he added, referring to Kim's historic meeting with US President Donald Trump in the city state a month ago.

But in stark contrast, Pyongyang's take was overwhelmingly negative, with the North warning that the future of the peace process was being jeopardized by "unilateral and gangster-like" United States demands for its nuclear disarmament.

If realized, they will be the first general-level military talks between North Korea and the UNC since March 2009. If that approach doesn't work with Kim, then it's pretty safe to say nothing will - and we haven't lost anything with this strategy even if that's the case.

North Korea could be looking for an opportunity to build on the momentum of the latest developments, including the cancellation of a joint U.S.

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