World

United States president thanks North Korea for sending war remains

United States president thanks North Korea for sending war remains

North Korea handed over 55 boxes of remains last week as part of an agreement reached during a June summit between its leader, Kim Jong Un, and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump also took to Twitter earlier to praise an "incredibly handsome ceremony" in Hawaii, where Vice President Mike Pence helped welcome the remains to the United States.

Indicators including recent satellite imagery show that North Korea is developing new missiles, according to a media report.

"Whosoever emerges from these aircraft today begins a new season of hope for the families of our missing fallen", Pence said. Many families who are awaiting the return of their loved ones from the Korean War have already submitted DNA samples to the agency to help in the identification process.

The Washington Post reported Monday that USA intelligence agencies have obtained evidence that indicates North Korea is building new long-range missiles despite ongoing disarmament talks with the United States.

The remains had been transferred from the small boxes they arrived in on Friday into full-sized caskets, draped with United Nations flags.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with President Donald Trump at the Capella Hotel in Singapore, June 12, 2018.

North Korea handed over the remains of what US officials said are believed to be the remains of U.S servicemen who fought during the Korean War.

"The fact of the matter is that past year, on President Trump's watch, North Korea made significant advances in its ballistic missile technology, achieving what many experts agree is a nuclear-capable operational ICBM", Menendez added.

The reports about new rocket development come after ongoing disclosures about a speculated uranium advancement office, called Kangson, that North Korea is working in mystery.

Over 36,000 US service members died in the Korean War, and nearly 7,700 USA troops who participated in the conflict are still missing. But there have been concerns that North Korea hasn't taken any serious disarmament measures since then. Kim committed in a broad summit statement to work toward denuclearization, but Pyong-yang has offered no details as to how it might go about that and subsequent talks have not gone smoothly.

The vice president spoke for a few minutes before the ceremony began, calling it "tangible progress in our efforts to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula".

But his comment seemed at odds with Pompeo, who said any such step would have to be confirmed by global inspectors and that North Korea continued to produce fuel for nuclear weapons despite Kim's pledge to denuclearize.

The Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula in a technical state of war.

"This is consistent with North Korea's public line, which is that its successful test program is now transitioning to mass production of nuclear and missile systems", he said.

John Byrd, director of analysis for the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, told reporters at Osan that the family of the soldier identified by the dog tag had been notified.

North Korea handed over the 55 cases on July 27, when an Air Force C-17 flew to an airbase near Wonsan on North Korea's east coast and returned with the remains to Osan.


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