North Korea no-shows at meeting to discuss return of USA soldier remains

Earlier Thursday, a diplomatic source here said the US and North Korea were still in talks to set a date for working-level dialogue over the repatriation of remains of American troops.

This latest incident comes shortly after Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang resulted in North Korea accusing Pompeo of making a "unilateral and gangster-like demand for nuclearization".

Kim Jong Un had committed to returning the remains of the troops from the 1950-53 conflict during talks with US President Donald Trump on 12 June.

Returning the remains was a commitment from the 12 June summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump in Singapore.

The U.S. and North Korea were scheduled to hold a meeting at the South Korean border village of Panmunjom on Thursday for talks on repatriation of remains of U.S. soldiers but North Korea reportedly didn't show up.

North Korean representatives didn't show up for scheduled talks with the US about returning the remains of fallen American soldiers.

"A very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea".

Other speculation is that North Korea was discomforted with the way it was portrayed by the US media _ as trying to make money from the war remains.

"I deeply appreciate the energetic and extraordinary efforts made by Your Excellency Mr. President for the improvement of relations between the two countries".

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But Pentagon officials cautioned it is unclear just how much North Korea is preparing to hand over.

The White House had said earlier Pompeo would meet with the leader, but the encounter did not materialise and the top USA diplomat only met with Kim Yong Chol.

Trump has sought to cast his summit with Kim as a major victory, although reports have suggested North Korea is continuing with its nuclear programme and promises of "denuclearisation" remain vague.

The North Korean leader said he hopes to "bring our next meeting forward" in the concluding sentence of the letter.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the North Koreans called around midday to say the meeting would be delayed until Jul 15. As part of their agreement, Kim pledged to abandon the nuclear weapons his country developed to deter a potential invasion, while Trump has said he would guarantee Kim's security, ultimately lift sanctions and potentially establish an official peace in a decades-long conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

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

The letter comes days after the North Korean Foreign Ministry released a statement accusing the USA of "ganster-like" demands and trying to unilaterally pressure the country into abandoning its nuclear weapons.

"North Korea apparently wants a USA general to appear at the table to quickly finalize the repatriation issue", the source said.

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