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North Korea fails to attend talks on repatriation of US war dead

North Korea fails to attend talks on repatriation of US war dead

American officials have been on standby for weeks and have sent wooden coffins and flags to Panmunjom in preparation for a handover.

Last week, North Korea accused the United States of using a "gangster-like" tactics to push it towards nuclear disarmament after a fresh round of high-level talks.

The agreement on the return of remains of Americans believed to have been lost on the North Korean side of the border during the 1950-53 war, "including the immediate repatriation of those already identified", was the only concrete commitment on the four-point summit declaration. "It is likely that military generals from the US and North Korea will take part in the meeting".

The North's lack of economic development since the war ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, meant it built fewer roads, dams and buildings to disturb or cover remains.

U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) director Kelly McKeague stated in an interview with Reuters that the agency is "hopeful these discussions on July 12 will lead to further discussions and negotiations directly with the North Koreans by which we can actually get down to the detailed planning". "We had anticipated the USA side would come with a constructive idea, thinking we would take something in return", a foreign ministry official said in a statement.




The remains of almost 8,000 USA troops remain unaccounted for on the Korean peninsula, and 5,300 of those bodies are believed to be located somewhere north of the demilitarized zone.

According to media reports, the US military sent wooden cases to which the remains of soldiers will be transferred at the border.

Hundreds of remains have been repatriated since 1990, but the process has been fraught with mistrust. On the day he left the North issued a statement on state-run media accusing the United States of "gangster-like" demands for unilateral disarmament.

Despite the apparent snub and worsening relations with North Korea, Donald Trump tweeted on Monday he has "confidence" that Mr Kim would honour the denuclearisation "contract" they signed at the Singapore summit.

Although KCNA did not say when the trip was made, Kim Yong Chol told a visiting Seoul official last week that the leader was away for a trip to a "local region". "We're going to continue to work through that", the vice president said. The news agency noted that the request followed North Koreans not showing up to the meeting with US representatives.