Remains of USA war dead being returned from North Korea

Glen Norman
June 21, 2018

TOKYO-The foreign ministers of Japan and the Philippines on Wednesday agreed that United Nations sanctions against North Korea need to be strictly implemented for it to take meaningful action toward denuclearization. It follows his Singapore summit, where Kim and Trump reaffirmed a commitment to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

In his summit with Xi in Beijing on Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed gratitude for China's support for his historic meeting with usa president Donald Trump last week and vowed to further consolidate bilateral ties with China, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

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.

Mr Trump surprised officials in South Korea and the US after that meeting by saying he would end "provocative" joint US-South Korean military exercises.

Xi termed the results of the summit a "positive outcome".

It was Kim's third official visit to China, created to reassure Beijing that Pyongyang will not neglect its interests as Trump and the young autocrat move into uncharted diplomatic terrain.

More than 36,000 USA troops died in the conflict, including those listed as missing in action.

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released Thursday finds that 55 percent of Americans approve of Trump's diplomacy with North Korea, up from 42 percent in March and 34 percent last October.

North Korean officials have also visited China recently to learn about its economic reforms - yet another sign of Pyongyang's reliance on Beijing for its economic wellbeing.

Simon Cockerell, general manager at Koryo Tours said these not so subtle anti-American souvenirs were very popular but has been completely removed now.

Cha Du-hyeogn, a visiting scholar at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, said the officials' presence signalled North Korea's attempts to synchronise its strategy with China before its next round of meetings with the United States on the denuclearisation issue. Photos show Kim and Xi shaking hands in front of a row of Chinese and North Korean flags - a visual echo of Kim and Trump's handshake. The latter was the site of fierce fighting, and the remains of more than 2000 USA soldiers and Marines are believed to be missing there, U.S. military officials said at the time.

Kim Oldfield, 67, of Culverville, California, a registered Independent who voted for Trump, said she was fine Kim coming to Washington as part of a nuclear deal.

"For the North, it can also show to the world, especially the U.S., that Beijing has Pyongyang's back if the North's ties with the United States sour in the future", Shin said. "I was living on the border, so we were friends with the military border guards".

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

"Not only the Chinese government, but also the whole Chinese society can not accept the US trying to blackmail China", the state-controlled Global Times newspaper said in an editorial Tuesday.

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