United States prepares for North Korea's return of American war remains

Marsha Scott
June 24, 2018

Pyongyang agreed to send home USA war remains during the June 12 summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

But merely ten days after saying there was no risk from Pyongyang, Trump said that there is an "extraordinary threat" from its nuclear weapons.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday North Korea was blowing up four of its big test sites and that a process of "total denuclearisation. has already started", but officials said there was no such evidence since a landmark summit last week.

At a news conference after the meeting with Kim in Singapore, Trump announced that he would halt what he called " very provocative" and expensive regular military exercises that the United States holds with South Korea.

U.S. Forces Korea spokesman Col. Chad Carroll also said Saturday that the military sent 158 metal transfer cases to a U.S. air base near South Korea's capital and will potentially use them to send the remains home.

Cases of co-mingled remains are the most hard because they require identifying which skeletal fragments belong to the same person, said Luis Fondebrider, president of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, a non-governmental group that applies forensic science to investigate human rights violations.

Though the notice is considered pro forma, the disparity in tone reflects the work that USA officials concede remains to be done as negotiators thrash out the details of Pyongyang's disarmament.

It is separate from US sanctions related to North Korean human rights abuses and a long list of global penalties imposed over Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile testing.

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Kim Jong Un this week met for the third time in as many months with Chinese President Xi Jinping - a sign of increasing cooperation between Beijing and Pyongyang, and a reminder of China's influence on the future of North Korea's nuclear program.

However North Korean state media has reported that Mr Trump agreed to "lift sanctions" as relations progress.

"They've stopped the sending of missiles, including ballistic missiles". They're destroying their engine site.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga repeated that it was vital for North Korea to take concrete steps toward complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all its weapons of mass destruction and missiles.

The harsh economic restrictions will continue for one year under the order.

Pentagon press secretary Dana White said the cancelled drills included Operation Ulchi Freedom Guardian, which was scheduled for August and set to involve more than 17,500 United States service members, and two Korean Marine Exchange Programme training exercises scheduled for the next three months.

"We have 100 years of mateship with the United States this year, of course we would welcome him here", Mr Pyne told reporters in Adelaide on Saturday.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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