N. Korea skips meeting on repatriating the remains of American war dead

Share

President Donald Trump Thursday released a letter from Kim Jong Un, in which the North Korean leader voices confidence in efforts to end their nuclear standoff, while calling on his U.S. counterpart to take "practical actions" to build trust.

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang last weekend, he was supposed to have a one-on-one meeting with Kim Jong-un.

Trump tweeted images of the letter, dated July 6, both in Korean and translated into English.

"I extend my conviction that the epochal progress in promoting the DPRK-US relations will bring our next meeting forward", Kim concludes, using the abbreviation for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

But following the meeting, North Korea released a statement calling the meeting "regrettable" and accusing the USA of using "gangster-like" tactics to push it towards nuclear disarmament.

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.

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

The UNC told the USA defense ministry about North Korea's proposal and is waiting for Washington's answer, the source added.

North Korea accused the United States on Saturday of making "gangster-like" demands in the talks in North Korea, contradicting Pompeo who said the old enemies had made progress.

"We will be ready", Nauert said.

Kim made that commitment when he met Mr Trump in Singapore last month.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the North Koreans called around midday to say the meeting would be delayed until Jul 15. The president rattled US allies by demanding that the other NATO nations pay more toward their own defense, although he stopped short of threatening to pull the United States out of the trans-Atlantic alliance.

In another development on Thursday, the U.S. accused North Korea of violating a United Nations sanctions cap on refined oil products.

Trump has touted the return of remains as one of the successes of his historic June 12 summit with Kim in Singapore.

Pompeo last week failed to demonstrate any progress on denuclearization talks, leading one source with knowledge of the discussions to say the White House felt it went "as badly as it could have gone".

But Pentagon officials cautioned it is unclear just how much North Korea is preparing to hand over.

Share