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

Trump: Kim Will Get 'Rocket Man' CD Later, Plus Surprise 'Little Gift'

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

"President Trump still believes that the agreement that was reached in Singapore where North Korea agreed to complete denuclearization represents a commitment that we can make progress on", Vice President Mike Pence told "Fox News" Tuesday in an interview.

South Korea said on Tuesday it has chose to scrap an annual government mobilization drill this year as part of a suspended joint exercise with the United States but will carry out its own drills to maintain readiness.The ministers of safety and defense made the announcement at a media briefing on Tuesday.

In his letter, which was written 24 days after the June 12 summit in Singapore, Kim addressed Mr Trump as "Your Excellency Mr President".

A USA official waited at the border truce village of Panmunjom but no North Korean official showed up, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said, citing a Seoul diplomatic source.

Foreign ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said, "The government hopes the agreements reached between leaders at the North Korea-U.S. summit, including the repatriation of Korean War remains, will be swiftly carried out as a means to fulfill the goal of complete denuclearization and establishment of a peace system on the Korean Peninsula".

While the details are unclear, a setback on talks over the remains wouldn't bode well for broader negotiations about North Korea's nuclear program.




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

"I deeply appreciate the energetic and extraordinary efforts made by Your Excellency Mr. President for the improvement of relations between the two countries and the faithful implementation of the joint statement", he adds.

North Korean officials did not attend a planned meeting with Americans to discuss the return of U.S. soldiers' remains, officials have said. "Great progress being made!".

"We were ready", the official said.

With the meeting not taking place, the UNC reportedly made a phone call and North Koreans responded by saying that they needed to upgrade the "level" of the talks.

"We got back our great fallen heroes, the remains sent back today, already 200 got sent back", Trump said at a Minnesota rally last month. The U.S. also risks giving the North Koreans leverage to continue diplomacy and drag out disarmament talks.

One observer pointed out that Trump would have likely criticized his response to North Korea had it been the reaction of another president.

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