President Trump on Thursday released a personal note from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un praising the "epochal progress" since their summit in Singapore last month, despite a series of recent setbacks that have cast doubt on denuclearization talks.
North Korea has long trumpeted a denuclearization goal, but one that it sees as a lengthy process of undefined multilateral disarmament on the entire Korean peninsula, rather than a unilateral dismantlement of its nuclear arsenal.
In the meeting at the Korean Peninsula's demilitarized zone, the two sides had been expected to discuss the return of USA troops' remains from the 1950-53 Korean War - an arrangement that the State Department had announced after Secretary Michael R. Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang last weekend.
American officials have been on standby for weeks and have sent wooden coffins and flags to Panmunjom in preparation for a handover.
Following his historic meeting with Mr Kim in Singapore, Mr Trump offered unspecified "security guarantees" to North Korea and said the USA would cease war-game exercises with the South. That is why the North Korean Foreign Ministry has said "we still value the trust we have for President Trump".
The idea of "practical actions" is hardly a firm stance issued by the North Korean dictator. "Great progress being made", he wrote.
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More than 36,000 US troops died in the three-year war, which ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula divided by one of the world's most heavily fortified borders.
The North, instead, reportedly proposed holding general-level military talks with the United Nations Command (UNC) to discuss returning the war remains to the U.S. It is unknown whether the North Korean side gave any prior notification to the U.S. about this.
Mr Kim had agreed during the summit with President Trump to recover "POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified".
"North Korea apparently wants a US general to appear at the table to quickly finalize the repatriation issue", the source said. "The U.S.is fatally mistaken if it went to the extent of regarding that [North Korea] would be compelled to accept, out of its patience, demands reflecting its gangster-like mindset".
"No one can be optimistic about the results", Moon said in Singapore on Thursday, "but my cautious outlook is that the negotiations would be able to succeed if the North carries out a complete denuclearization, and the global community gathers efforts to provide security guarantees to the North". "We will be ready".
Since the June 12 meeting, however, Pyongyang has yet to show any sign of concrete action to dismantle its nuclear programme that has brought a series of United Nations and worldwide sanctions against the impoverished state.