Trump shares 'very nice note' from Kim Jong Un

Howard TerryJul 13, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump shared what he said were letters Thursday from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, saying "great progress being made!".

The talks Sunday are expected to involve officials from the Pentagon and the U.N. Command, which commanded USA -led allied forces during the war and is involved in maintaining the armistice that ended the fighting in 1953.

On June 23, the U.S. Forces Korea said that it had moved 100 wooden "temporary transit cases" to the border to prepare for the remains' delivery.

Doubts over the prospect of a breakthrough were further exacerbated following the secretary of state Mike Pompeo's overnight visit to Pyongyang last week, during which a promised meeting with Kim failed to materialize.

"This step will build trust & confidence btw US & DPRK", he tweeted on Monday, using the acronym for North Korea's official name.

"This is a decades-long challenge, getting the North Koreans to make a fundamental strategic decision, which is that the nuclear weapons they possess today frankly present a threat to them and not security", said Pompeo, CNN reported.

The repatriation of the remains of US soldiers from North Korea has been a major issue between Washington and Pyongyang since the end of the Korean War, when thousands of Americans were left in Korea either missing in action or as prisoners of war. The discussions about returning Americans soldiers killed nearly 70 years ago was perhaps the most tangible outcome from Pompeo's trip, which analysts expected would at least secure the release of some remains.

Trump described the letter as a "very nice note" and said, "Great progress being made!". Roughly 5,300 United States troops presumed to have been killed in the Korean war are unaccounted for.

Trump shared the letters on social media, one written in Korean and the other a translation.

Pompeo was in Pyongyang from Friday to Saturday to try to flesh out a bare bones denuclearisation deal made during last month's historic summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

"Repatriation of USA remains from North Korea will be important not just to American families, but to building trust between the US and North Korea as well", Pompeo said earlier this week.

Between 1996 and 2005, some 33 recovery operations were conducted in North Korea which saw 200 sets of remains returned.

But in stark contrast, Pyongyang's take was overwhelmingly negative, with the North warning that the future of the peace process was being jeopardized by "unilateral and gangster-like" US demands for its nuclear disarmament.

US officials and experts have said the shift in attitude was to be expected as the North Koreans are known for brinkmanship and trying to up the ante ahead of tough negotiations over their nuclear missile program.

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".

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