North Korea expected to begin transferring remains of U.S. troops soon


North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's latest China trip was surrounded by none of the secrecy that marked the last two visits, with Chinese media freely reporting on his arrival on the arm of his wife Ri Sol-ju.

The removal of anti-U.S. posters and now souvenirs in North Korea may be linked to warming U.S-DPRK relations, culminating last week in a summit between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore.

The leaders discussed denuclearisation, KCNA said, while Kim was also thought to have briefed Mr Xi on his historic summit with Donald Trump last week.

Kim earlier visited an agricultural technology park and rail traffic control center, accompanied by Beijing's top official, Cai Qi, Xinhua said.

During their Singapore summit, Mr Kim, who is Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, promised complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula in return for security guarantees from Mr Trump.

Some lawmakers and experts said the North received a major concession - reversing decades of USA military posture in the region, with joint exercises at the heart of readiness efforts against the rogue regime - while the United States seemingly receiving nothing in return.

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The American military command in South Korea is preparing for the North Koreans to turn over the remains of an unknown number of U.S. or allied service members who have been missing since the Korean War, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

President Donald Trump said North Korea had returned on Wednesday the remains of 200 US troops missing from the Korean War, although there was no official confirmation of the move from military authorities. "Now we are going to have to talk about how to achieve that, and I think you will see diplomatic engagement proceed very quickly", he said.

Officials say the timing of a ceremony is uncertain, but could be soon.

Mr Xi said China is pleased that "the momentum for dialogue and easing of the situation on the Korean Peninsula has been effectively strengthened".

KCNA also mentioned that President Xi praised Kim for his efforts toward peace and stability in the peninsula. and that the two sides are entering a new period in their ties following Kim's first visit in March.

Mr Kim also told Mr Xi he was willing to bolster the bilateral friendship and co-operation, it said.

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United States officials are looking for signs that North Korea intends to follow through with its stated desire to denuclearise.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he would likely travel back to North Korea "before too terribly long" to try to flesh out commitments made at the summit. The officials weren't authorized to discuss the preparations before an official announcement so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pak's appearance in Beijing showed Pyongyang had expanded its negotiating team, said Baik Tae-hyun, a spokesman for the South Korean Unification Ministry.

Kim's jet, an ancient Ilyushin IL-62, arrived at the private jet terminal of Beijing Capital International Airport at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The move marked a clear departure from China's previous stance of keeping silent on Kim's visit until he had returned home.

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