State Dept: North Korea Has Committed to Denuclearization

Howard TerryAug 02, 2018

A US military aircraft left North Korea last week carrying 55 boxes handed over by Kim Jong Un's regime that are believed to contain the remains of USA service members.

In a solemn ceremony steeped in military tradition, remains believed to be those of 55 American service members who fell in the Korean War - and one dog tag - began the trip home Wednesday.

During his Senate testimony on July 25, Pompeo said that factories in North Korea "continue to produce fissile material".

The lack of info about the supposed remains of United States servicemen from the Korean War will cause the process of identification to take years, according to CNN.

It could be hard to find out if the remains are even American military members. "We don't know who's in those boxes", Mattis said.

"Based upon previous experiences with this type of turnover from the [Democratic Republic of North Korea], most of the remains will take many months to a few years to identify", an official added.

DPAA deputy director Rear Admiral Jon Kreitz said he saw the remains transfer as an important step that will lead to more recovery operations in North Korea.

"With these 55 sets of remains that are being repatriated, there was one single soldier's dog tag", NPR's Anthony Kuhn reported from the Osan Air Base.

The boxes are believed to hold the remains of servicemen from the US and other United Nations member countries who fought to support South Korea during the war.

There are 7,699 USA service members listed as unaccounted for from the 1950-53 Korean War, of which about 5,300 are believed to have died on North Korean soil.

"We too remain concerned" by North Korean violations of UN-approved sanctions, the U.S. official said.

News that the North Koreans are potentially developing new weapons would be a heavy blow to President Donald Trump's efforts at diplomacy with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

United Nations honor guards carry a casket containing remains transferred by North Korea onto a plane at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Wednesday.

Kim Jong Un committed to try to work toward the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" during the summit in Singapore, but he agreed to no specific measures or timelines.

Some 5,300 of those are believed to have been lost in North Korea, which is separated from the South by one of the world's most fortified borders.

North Korea analyst Robert Kelly with Pusan National University in South Korea said the limited gains made at the military talks reflect the tough and prolonged negotiation process ahead to move North Korea beyond confidence building measures and to make real concessions to downsize its military forces at the border. But examination showed that the remains were from more than 208 individuals.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that United States intelligence agencies are seeing signs that work is under way on one or two liquid-fueled ICMBs at the Sanumdong research facility, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

These officials say new evidence, including satellite photos taken in recent weeks, suggests that work is underway on at least one, possibly two intercontinental ballistic missiles at a facility on the outskirts of Pyongyang.

Two family members of Americans missing in action in North Korea during the Korean War, Diana Brown Sanfilippo and Rick Downes, also flew with the Vice President on Air Force Two for the event.

Nauert said that North Korean officials would be at some of the same meetings as State Department officials in the area. North Korea has steadfastly argued its nuclear weapons are meant to neutralize alleged US plans to attack it.

The signing of a peace treaty could allow the North to demand the pullout of the 28,500 American troops stationed in South Korea.

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