Monday, 16 July, 2018

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

S. Korea approves rare screening of N. Korea films Kim Jong Un snubbed Mike Pompeo for potato farm visit, state media suggests
Melinda Barton | 12 July, 2018, 17:54

Regarding the suspension of the Ulchi exercise, Interior Minister Kim Boo-kyum said that the government reached the decision in consideration of the latest security climate and suspension of South Korea- US combined exercises. The U.S. also risks giving the North Koreans leverage to continue diplomacy and drag out disarmament talks.

The process could get a kickstart when North Korean and United Nations officials meet on Thursday in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that divides the Koreas to discuss service members missing in action (MIA).

Pompeo's reception in Pyongyang last week was chillier than during his previous two trips to the North Korean capital and he didn't meet with Kim Jong Un.

The article contrasts with the media narrative following the release of North Korea's statement that the negotiations took a turn for the worse during the sit-down.

Trump has claimed the USA pays far too much of NATO's defense budget while other members fail to meet the agreed 2 percent of gross domestic product. US investigators collected a further 230 boxes of bones and material in a decade of digging.

"On [July] 3, a lecture explaining how South Korea is a decaying and diseased society was held for locals", said Daily NK's source in North Hamgyong Province.

Trump made similar accusations in May, noting that North Korea's previously conciliatory tone towards the scheduled summit between Kim and Trump seemed to change overnight following Kim's meeting with Chinese communist leader Xi Jinping in Dalian, China.

As diplomatic engagement increases contact between the two Koreas and reduces hostility across the border, authorities may be anxious ordinary North Koreans might view the South favorably.

North Korea's criticism of talks with Pompeo fueled further doubts about whether Trump will ever achieve his goal of "complete denuclearization", much less on the timeline of one to 2-1/2 years set out by various administration officials.

Joint U.S. -North Korean military search teams recovered 229 sets of American remains from North Korea between 1996 and 2005.

"We made sure we only brought in really mature experienced people", he said, adding each day was "going to be negotiated".

Foreign ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said, "The government hopes the agreements reached between leaders at the North Korea-U.S. summit, including the repatriation of Korean War remains, will be swiftly carried out as a means to fulfill the objective of complete denuclearization and establishment of a peace system on the Korean Peninsula".

"Rocket Man" is a nickname Trump used to mock Kim previous year when the two traded insults over North Korea's testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles targeted at the US.