A very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea.
North Korean officials didn't show up for a planned meeting with US counterparts to discuss returning the remains of American war dead, South Korean media reported, in the latest sign of tensions between the two sides.
After U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's meeting with North Korean officials in Pyongyang last week, he stated the U.S. and North Korea would hold working-level talks on repatriating the remains, July 12.
The letter made no mention of North Korea's plans to denuclearize. DPAA advisers were attending the talks.
President Trump told reporters while leaving the White House this morning to fly to Brussels for the NATO summit that he does have a special gift for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, but it hasn't been gifted yet.
On Thursday, however, Department of Defense and United Nations Command officials were left waiting in the DMZ's Joint Security Area.
Trump Administration Will Not Meet Deadline for Reuniting Young Children
They will be set free in the United States pending the outcome of their immigration cases, which can take several years. DOJ lawyers said in a court filing that the government has tried for twelve months to locate the parents, to no avail.
The remains of a South Korean service member identified from that operation will be returned in Seoul on Friday.
"President Trump and Chairman Kim made a commitment to recover the remains of U.S. service members in North Korea as well as to repatriate remains that they now have", stated Kelly McKeague, Director of U.S. Defense of POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
Instead, not showing up to the talks could be a strategy to gain the upper hand in denuclearization negotiations. Kim is reportedly eyeing Switzerland as a potential venue for a second meeting, with North Korean diplomats sent to Bern, Davos, and Geneva last week to scope out hotels and conference centers, Kyodo reported.
On June 23, the Pentagon confirmed that it had moved 100 wooden coffins to the DMZ to receive the remains that North Korea promised to return and would soon move another 158 metal transfer cases to the border.
Several days previously, Pyongyang had slated the United States for seeking unilateral and forced denuclearization from North Korea. That statement said North Korea would "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", but offered not details on when or how Pyongyang would relinquish its program.
North Korea has imposed a testing moratorium, with the last missile test occurring on November 28, and it destroyed its main nuclear testing facility, although experts say those moves could be reversed.