U.S., North Korea to resume search for remains from Korean War


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently offered a Vietnamese model of economic prosperity for North Korea if it fulfills its denuclearization pledge.

The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the plan and spoke on the condition of anonymity, cautioned that the timing and the number of remains could still change.

The discussions, which took place in the demilitarized zone between the Koreas, follow a commitment made by the North during the June 12 summit in Singapore to recover the remains of US prisoners of war and those missing in action and immediately repatriate the remains of those that have already been identified.

USA military data suggests that 7,700 troops remain unaccounted for from the 1950-53 conflict.

There was no escape for the officials involved later in the day either, with state television's main evening news extended from its usual 20 minutes to a full hour to accommodate reports on Mr Kim's inspection visits and his fury at performance.

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Experts are speculating that Pyongyang is trying to fast-track discussions on what it considers more critical issues, such as reaching a declaration to formally end the war, which stopped on an armistice and not a peace treaty.

Returning the remains of the US soldiers who perished during the 1950-53 conflict was part of a deal signed by the North's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump during their landmark summit last month. Military officials later denied this but said that prearrangements for the transfer had been made - including the storage of 100 caskets at the demilitarized zone.

Last month, the USA military moved 100 wooden coffins to the inter-Korean border to prepare for the return of US war remains, which was a rare tangible commitment the North made during the Trump-Kim summit.

US and North Korean officials were supposed to meet at the DMZ for negotiations Thursday, but the North Koreans never showed.

USA military officials met with their North Korean counterparts on Sunday to continue discussions about repatriation. But a USA military official familiar with the matter said last month it was not clear what North Korea might hand over. "These sales and any other transfer must immediately stop since the United States believes the DPRK has breached the ... refined petroleum products quota for 2018", the USA argued in the report sent to the U.N. It is also understood that a two-star general was leading the North's side. Monday's meeting was focused on the return of remains, and the North Korean officials didn't raise other issues or request anything in return, the official told the paper. -North Korea military search teams conducted 33 recovery operations that collected 229 sets of American remains.