N. Korea skips meeting on repatriating the remains of American war dead


North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore, on June 12. The U.S. Embassy in Seoul said it had no immediate information.

"Repatriation of USA remains from North Korea will be important not just to American families, but to building trust between the US and North Korea as well", Pompeo said earlier this week.

"Kim has played Trump like a Stradivarius".

Suspension of the joint military drills is often viewed as a way to assuage North Korea's concerns over its regime security in return for abandoning nukes.

Trump also announced that the US would suspend "war games" with South Korea.

And the U.S. -North Korea denuclear dealings will be decoupled from the Sino-U.S. trade fight, according to professor Wang.

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Organisers have also sought to invite several North Korean moviemakers but are waiting for official approval.

On Weibo, China's twitter-like microblogging platform, one user asked "why is the U.S. - a country so far away - keeping an eye on the North Korea's denuclearization progress?"

The professor urged Trump not to offset his diplomatic efforts after the Singapore summit, saying he should next persuade his hawkish aides to come up with a feasible approach on "full denuclearization" - one that differs from the past complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) of North Korea's nuclear programs.

Pompeo underscored the importance he places on the issue earlier this week when he tweeted that North Korea had committed to repatriating remains.

The Department of Defense estimates that North Korea is holding about 200 sets of remains from some 5,300 American military personnel believed missing in the country.

Speaking with reporters before departing on a trip to Europe, Trump was asked to confirm a South Korean news report that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took with him to Pyongyang a CD of Elton John's song "Rocket Man" to give to Kim last week.

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Shortly after Pompeo's departure, the North Korean foreign ministry issued a statement blasting his conduct as "unilateral and gangster-like".

If the USA agrees to the meeting, it would mark the first time that North Korea has engaged in military talks with the United Nations military body since 2009.

Much progress has been made compared to 20 years ago but "significant humanitarian challenges" remain, Lowcock said.

"We have yet to see any specifics from that commitment", said McKeague, director of the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).

On Tuesday, North Korean state media published several reports about Kim's visit to a rural area near the Chinese border where he provided "field guidance" to potato farmers.

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

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