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Excavations for Remains of US Service Members in North Korea May Resume

12 July 2018

South Korea has suspended its summertime civil defence drills aimed at preparing against a North Korean attack to keep alive a positive atmosphere for nuclear diplomacy with the North.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have been too busy visiting a potato farm to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Pyongyang's state media implied Tuesday.

The talks had been expected in the demilitarised zone on Thursday.

South Korea's urbanisation is one reason why more than a 1000 American service members are unaccounted for, said McKeague.

The agency has built up a DNA database from relatives that covers 92 per cent of the Korean War missing, versus 85 per cent for the Vietnam War and about 5 per cent for World War II.

Shortly after the apparent setback was reported, President Trump tweeted the translation of a letter he had received from Mr Kim, in which the North Korean leader said: "I deeply appreciate the energetic and extraordinary efforts made by Your Excellency Mr President".

Warner highlighted the June 12 summit document from Mr. Trump and Kim in which Kim reaffirmed his commitment towards complete denuclearization, Pompeo's comment earlier this week that the USA had "detailed, substantive" conversations about total denuclearization, and Mr. Trump's tweet after the summit in Singapore declaring "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea". But it didn't commence at the scheduled time as North Korean officials didn't show up.

"President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

The US military has since announced that 100 wooden coffins have been moved to the inter-Korean border in preparation.

At high-level talks last week, North Korea and the US confirmed they are still poles apart on the next steps to be taken in the process.

Trump also announced that the USA would suspend "war games" with South Korea.

Coming after a year of Twitter taunts and nuclear brinkmanship, the meeting between Kim and Trump was historic, in that it was the first meeting between a United States president and his North Korean counterpart.

The US also accused North Korea of violating a United Nations sanctions cap on refined oil products.

However, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said during a visit to Singapore on Thursday that denuclearization talks were on the right track.

Byrd, a forensic anthropologist, was part of a 15-strong DPAA team in North Korea 20 years ago. He also told supporters in Nevada that North Korea had already handed over 200 sets of remains.

Excavations for Remains of US Service Members in North Korea May Resume