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22:06, 12 July 2018

North Koreans Are No-Shows at Meeting to Go over U.S. Soldiers’ Remains


North Koreans Are No-Shows at Meeting to Talk about U.S. Soldiers’ Remains

North Koreans Are No-Shows at Meeting to Discuss U.S. Soldiers&rsquo Remains

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned final week, soon after meeting with North Korean officials, that working-level talks would be held on or about Thursday to go over returning the remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean War.CreditPool photo by Andrew Harnik

By Choe Sang-Hun

SEOUL, South Korea &mdash North Korean officials did not show up on Thursday for a meeting with Americans at the inter-Korean border to discuss the return of remains of United States soldiers killed in the Korean War, officials said.

Kim Jong-un, the North&rsquos leader, committed to repatriating American soldiers&rsquo remains in his June talks with President Trump. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned last week, following meeting with officials in North Korea, that working-level talks on the matter would be held on or around Thursday in Panmunjom, the so-called truce village on the border in between North and South Korea.

Even though American military officials went to Panmunjom for the meeting on Thursday, their North Korean counterparts did not, according to a United States defense official who spoke on the situation of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. A South Korean government official, who also asked for anonymity, confirmed that the North Koreans had not shown up at Panmunjom.

It was not clear whether the Americans had been deliberately stood up. Mr. Pompeo had cautioned that the date for the planned meeting at Panmunjom &ldquocould move by one particular day or two,&rdquo indicating that the two sides had not settled all the particulars prior to he left Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, on Saturday.

When the American officials known as the North Korean side at Panmunjom later on Thursday, it proposed a generals&rsquo meeting with the United States on Sunday, South Korean officials mentioned. If the Pentagon accepts the proposal, it will be the initial meeting amongst North Korean and American military generals in nine years.

Mr. Pompeo mentioned his discussions in Pyongyang final week had been productive, even though he left with out a North Korean agreement to take particular actions toward dismantling its nuclear weapons plan. North Korea later said it was seriously disappointed by Mr. Pompeo&rsquos check out, accusing him of making a &ldquounilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization,&rdquo even though failing to provide corresponding American incentives to boost ties amongst the two nations.

North Korea has returned the remains of some American soldiers to the United States over the years considering that 1953, when an armistice halted the Korean War. But about five,300 Americans presumed to have been killed in the North are nonetheless unaccounted for.

When Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim held their historic summit meeting in Singapore on June 12, Mr. Kim &mdash in addition to promising, in vague terms, to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula &mdash committed to returning the remains of American troops recovered from major Korean War battle internet sites in his nation, like the &ldquoimmediate repatriation of those currently identified.&rdquo

North Korea was expected to hand over those remains &mdash believed to belong to some 200 to 250 American servicemen &mdash in the weeks following the meeting. The United States military has already moved coffins and American flags to Panmunjom in anticipation of getting the remains.

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U.S. Military Prepares to Get Soldiers&rsquo Remains From North Korea

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Published at Thu, 12 Jul 2018 17:13:32 +0000


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