Trump Receives Letter from North Korea's Kim

Glen Norman
August 3, 2018

"A letter to President Trump from Chairman Kim was received on August 1", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

New U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Harry Harris said there must be "demonstrable moves" from North Korea toward denuclearization before any declaration of the end of the 1950-53 Korean War is made between the two sides.

In addition, the 55 transfer cases handed over by the North Koreans contained equipment associated with the American military, such as boots, canteens, buttons and buckles, Byrd said.

The pledge to return the remains of USA soldiers was made during a landmark summit between Trump and Kim in June in Singapore, where North Korea committed to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

McKeague said North Korea did not receive any payment for the transfer this week. Vice President Mike Pence and USA military leaders received the remains in Hawaii during a somber ceremony on Wednesday.

"Chairman Kim made a commitment to denuclearize", Pompeo told reporters.

About 7,700 USA soldiers are listed as missing from the conflict, and 5,300 of the remains are believed to still be in North Korea.

More than 7,700 US troops remain unaccounted for from the Korea War.

The Defense Department agency that accounts for missing American service members from past wars hopes to negotiate the resumption of joint operations to recover remains in North Korea, an official said Thursday, calling such efforts a "sacred obligation".

The US president has said repeatedly that the deal he reached with Kim has been positive since North Korea has maintained a freeze on nuclear and missile tests and has begun returning US war dead remains.

Last Friday - the day North Korea returned the remains - coincided with the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement, which ended fighting in the war.

It has taken longer than Washington had hoped, but a U.S. state department official says the process so far has been smooth.

A USA defense official told VOA North Korea has provided nearly no information to help identify the individuals, and that the process could take months or years to complete. He said during a rally on Tuesday in Tampa, Florida, that the USA was "doing well" with North Korea, citing the return of detained Americans and Pyongyang's ceasing of nuclear and missile tests.

But he declined to comment on intelligence about any other North Korean research activities when speaking to reporters on Wednesday. Gen. Kelly McKeague, the DPAA director, Byrd said his initial examination of the remains, and his discussions with the North Koreans, led him to believe that further analysis will show that the remains are those of Americans.

The Pentagon said last week it was considering the possibility of sending personnel to North Korea to search for additional remains.

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