North Korea transfers remains of Korean War soldiers to US: White House

North Korea transfers remains of Korean War soldiers to US: White House

The handover follows through on a promise Kim Jong Un made to President Trump when the leaders met in June and is the first tangible result from the much-hyped summit. "Thank you to Kim Jong Un", Trump wrote on Twitter.

While North and South Korea have discussed deals to end the war, and the USA nominally has given its imprimatur to the idea, U.S. officials say that there is little interest in the Trump Administration to actually do this, with some seeing it as undermining their leverage against North Korea on denuclearization. Between 1990 and 2005, Pyongyang transferred 229 sets of remains to the U.S. but stopped doing so as relations with Washington deteriorated over North Korea's nuclear program.

However, the USA has repeatedly indicated it will only reward Pyongyang with a peace treaty after North Korea denuclearizes. At a press conference, Trump said he wanted to stop USA military exercises with South Korea and eventually withdraw United States troops - something Pyongyang has been demanding for years.

Of the almost 8,000 Americans who were killed in battle, missing or captured, more than 5,000 of them were believed to be in North Korea.

According to reports earlier this week, citing US officials, a team of American forensic specialists will do an in-depth examination of the remains, . looking for any identification like dog tags or uniforms, and that's expected to take about five days. No formal peace treaty ending the conflict has ever been signed.

Why are USA remains in North Korea?

The return of the remains comes on the 65th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War. Earlier, the plane and its crew had traveled to Wonsan, North Korea, to collect the remains, the White House said. The last time North Korea turned over remains was in 2007, when Bill Richardson, a former United Nations ambassador and New Mexico governor, secured the return of six sets.

More news: Images indicate North Korea dismantling facilities at test site

"The United States owes a profound debt of gratitude to those American service members who gave their lives in service to their country and we are working diligently to bring them home", Ms. Sanders said.

The programme helped bring in vital hard currency to North Korea, which has been under US -led sanctions for decades.

In my experience in meeting North Korean, South Korean and American officials to discuss how they can support women's inclusion in the Korea peace process, I am constantly reminded of how much mistrust has been hardened over 70 years.

Pyongyang has nevertheless expressed its willingness to allow the resumption of joint search missions in the country to retrieve more remains.

A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said while "peace on the Korean Peninsula is a goal shared by the world", the worldwide community would not accept a nuclear armed North Korea. The North also said US officials came up with various "conditions and excuses" to backtrack on the issue of formally ending the war.

The U.N. Security Council has unanimously boosted sanctions on North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke off funding for Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, banning luxury goods said to include recreational sports equipment.

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