Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un make history in the first sitting between U.S. and North Korean leaders, as they negotiate the end of the nuclear stand-off. The president also said he was "not at all surprised" that Kim "took this kind action".
"Also, thank you for your nice letter - l look forward to seeing you soon!"
In a solemn ceremony, the United States welcomed home on Wednesday human remains it said presumably included Americans killed in the 1950-1953 Korean War, and thanked North Korea for making good on a June summit pledge to hand them over.
However, the cases only include one dog tag, so the identifying process could be hard and may take yeas to complete.
"I know that President Trump is grateful that Chairman Kim has kept his word", Pence said.
"The Korean War fallen have never been forgotten by the United States of America nor the 16 other sending states that comprise the UNC". The Hawaii-based DPAA laboratory will go over the remains for accurate identification. Pompeo said there was "an very bad long way to go" before North Korea could no longer be viewed as a nuclear threat.
North Korea handed over the remains last week.
They have urged patience even as Trump himself has played up positive developments, including the return of apparent remains of more than 50 American service members killed during the Korean war. However, John Byrd, the director of analysis for the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), told reporters on Tuesday that "there is no reason to doubt that they do relate to Korean War losses" after a forensic review.
US officials also are eager to resume searches in North Korea for more remains, an effort that has been stalled for more than a decade due to rising nuclear tensions. A US military plane made a rare trip into North Korea to retrieve the 55 cases.
About 7,700 U.S. soldiers are listed as missing from the 1950-53 Korean War, and about 5,300 of the remains are believed to still be in North Korea.
Trump thanked Kim for "fulfilling a promise" to send back USA remains and said it was a step in the right direction following their summit.
Trump also appeared to suggest that there could be a second meeting with Kim, after the two leaders met for the first time during their summit in Singapore on June 12.
While the reaction to the Trump-Kim summit at the forum is positive, issues have arisen to give USA and other analysts pause. "Again, this is just a great first step in building some confidence and building a relationship".
More than 7,700 US troops remain unaccounted for from the Korea War. -North Korea relations last week but cautioned against assuming the remains are definitely Americans. But North Korea provided only a single military dog tag with the 55 boxes.
The department left open the possibility that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could meet North Korean officials during meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc in Singapore this weekend.