Published: Thu, July 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

North Korea Agree To Resume Search For War Dead

North Korea Agree To Resume Search For War Dead

Pompeo had said a Pentagon team would meet with the North's officials on or around Thursday at the inter-Korea border to discuss the repatriation.

There was no immediate word from the US side, but South Korean media said that the USA team was led by Air Force Maj. North Korea's foreign ministry decried the talks came to a close, for making what it called "rapacious" demands.

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo: "On Sunday, July 15, representatives from the United States held the first General Officer-level talks with the DPRK since 2009".

"The DPRK will grant an amnesty to those who had been convicted of the crimes against the country and people on the occasion of the 70th founding anniversary of the DPRK", the state-owned media said. "Getting a general symbolizes the importance of negotiating with the North".

The reason behind the Foreign Ministry's statement (which was under-reported by the U.S. media) was that during the last round of talks Pompeo continued to hold the USA position that no concessions -like the much-needed easing of sanctions - will only be provided to Pyongyang once they meet all of the United States' demands.

While recovering the war dead would provide Mr Trump a political victory similar to Mr Kim's May release of three living American detainees, it would do little to advance the goal of dismantling the regime's weapons programme.

The two sides met on the inter-Korean border and agreed to resume joint field activities to search for the remains of Americans missing from the war, Pompeo said in a statement.

"There hasn't been a missile or rocket fired in 9 months in North Korea, there have been no nuclear tests and we got back our hostages", Trump wrote.

About 7,700 United States soldiers are listed as missing from the Korean War, and 5,300 of the missing are believed to be in North Korea. That figure includes some 7,700 still unaccounted for, with an estimated 5,300 believed to have been lost in the North. Citing practical difficulties, the official said that 55 was a "ballpark" figure and that further testing by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency would be required to confirm the number. In 2013, the North severed its hotline with the UNC, declaring the armistice that ended the Korean War null and void.

From 1996 to 2005, joint U.S. The establishment media and their military industrial complex backers don't want to see peace in Korea, but even those who don't like Trump but manage to remain objective can see progress. More than 36,000 US service members died in the conflict.

The meeting arranged by the U.S. State Department was originally scheduled to take place last Thursday, but the North Koreans were no-shows.

Information for this article was contributed by Adam Taylor of The Washington Post; and by staff members of The Associated Press.

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