World

Trump receives letter from North Korean leader: White House

Trump receives letter from North Korean leader: White House

McKeague praised the humanitarian nature of the transfer that was the outgrowth of a North Korean pledge that emerged from President Trump's June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was headed to an Asian security meeting in Singapore, where a meeting this weekend with North Korea's foreign minister was possible.

The agency has DNA samples from 92 percent of the families of the almost 7,700 Americans still missing from the Korean War.

Trump has pointed to North Korea's freeze on nuclear and missile tests and its agreement to return remains of Americans killed in the 1950-53 Korea War. About 5,300 were lost in what is now North Korea.

The United States has sent North Korea $22 million since 1990 as it recovered an estimated 629 sets of remains, according to a spokesman for the US military. The correspondence, following up on their Singapore summit in June, came amid fresh concerns over Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization despite a rosy picture of progress painted by Trump.

The North Koreans provided enough specifics about where each suspected body was found that USA officials have matched them to specific battles fought from 1950 to 1951, although not necessarily individuals, he said.

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

While it is hoped that the repatriation will give momentum to the implementation of the key element of the deal - the dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons program - progress toward securing firm commitments in that regard from Pyongyang has reportedly been slow.

Cutting off oil and fuel to the North would require enforcement primarily by China, which supplies most of North Korea's energy needs, but also by Russian Federation, which delivers some oil to Pyongyang.

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.

The remains returned by North Korea are possibly those of Army troops who fell in the brutal 1950 battle at the Chosin Reservoir, Pentagon POW/MIA officials said Thursday. He said during a rally on Tuesday in Tampa, Florida, that the United States was "doing well" with North Korea, citing the return of detained Americans and Pyongyang's ceasing of nuclear and missile tests.

The Washington Post on Tuesday reported that U.S. intelligence officials suspect North Korea is continuing to build new missiles in the same research facility that manufactured the country's ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States. Much of that money was sent as reimbursement for the costs incurred during the recovery process, which for years involved North Korean officials accompanying American delegations as they traveled to war sites and obtained remains.

"I won't say anything about what they're doing on the ground because that would cause me to reveal intelligence sources", Hyten told reporters in a briefing.

Iran, whose nuclear drive has also sparked global alarm, and North Korea are reported to have a history of cooperation in military and missile technology. The two sides remain technically at war because a peace treaty was never signed.


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