Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Pyongyang refuses to show up at war remains talks

"It does underscore the difficulty of negotiating with North Korea toward the end of denuclearization", former Rear Admiral John Kirby said to CNN's Poppy Harlow as they broke the news.

North Korean leader Kim-Jong-un has sent President Donald Trump a note expressing his satisfaction with last month's summit in Singapore, and his desire to meet again.

However, officials say it could be months before excavations can begin and years until the remains are identified.

"North Korea not showing up could be an expression of dissatisfaction toward the US for making excessive demands in the high-level talks last week", Kyungnam University professor Kim Dong-yub said".

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee has asked the head of USA intelligence to assess whether North Korea's posture and actions regarding denuclearization match up with the Trump administration's claims. The meeting was about returning the remains of American soldiers from the Korean War.

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Pompeo made his first overnight visit to Pyongyang last week to discuss a specific definition for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which for America would require the complete elimination of the North Korean nuclear program.

North Korean and USA teams - as well as officials from the United Nations - had been due to discuss the details of repatriation.

Pyongyang has reportedly asked the United Nations Command Armistice Commission to upgrade the talks to a higher level to include a US general, South Korea's foreign ministry said.

"They didn't give it, I have it for him", the president told reporters on Tuesday as he and the first lady departed for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels.

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

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

Trump faced a backlash for scrapping the drills, with critics saying he gave in too readily to Kim's request to halt the exercises while getting little in terms of tangible commitments from Pyongyang in return. 5,300 of that number are believed to have been killed north of the 38th parallel, which marks the border between the two Koreas.

"North Korea would have to deal with the consequences of breaking away from the negotiations if it were to do so, so it will likely not make an extreme decision", Kim said.

Between 1996 and 2005, some 33 recovery operations were conducted in North Korea which saw 200 sets of remains returned.

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