Saturday, 22 September, 2018

What North Korea actually said in last week's statement

South Korean Marines storm a beach in the southeastern port of Pohang during joint drills with the US military last year South Korean Marines storm a beach in the southeastern port of Pohang during joint drills with the US military last year More
Melinda Barton | 12 July, 2018, 20:41

But the president's optimistic outlook about North Korea's willingness to denuclearize and steps in that direction have been brought into question, after an NBC report claiming North Korea has been expanding a nuclear facility.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to send back remains of U.S. soldiers died in the 1950-53 Korean War to the their summit last month in Singapore. But given the harsh statements from Pyongyang following Pompeo's trip last week - the North Korean Foreign Ministry blasted Washington's stance on denuclearization as "gangster-like" - it's possible that it's gonna be a long, long time.

During Pompeo's recent trip, meant to negotiate the details of the nuclear agreement signed during the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, North Korea called denuclearization demands by the USA "gangster-like".

North Korean officials didn't show up for a planned meeting with USA counterparts to discuss returning the remains of American war dead, South Korean media reported, in the latest sign of tensions between the two sides.

Trump told reporters Tuesday that he might have another gift for Kim as well. Pompeo and his delegation had just traveled to North Korea to meet with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol.

"They didn't give it".

However, while the North's attitude may further impede the denuclearization talks, the regime is unlikely to boycott them. As the war was fought on Korean soil, however, only North Korea has remains to return.

North Korean officials skipped planned talks on repatriating the remains of American war dead Thursday in the latest snub of a USA administration eager to show progress on efforts to rid the communist state of nuclear weapons.

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.

North Korea also proposed to reschedule the meeting for Sunday.

On June 23, the Pentagon confirmed that it had moved 100 wooden coffins to the DMZ to receive the remains that North Korea promised to return and would soon move another 158 metal transfer cases to the border.

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