Published: Tue, July 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

North Korean restaurant staff defection was forced, manager says

North Korean restaurant staff defection was forced, manager says

"We understand that the North-US talks on repatriation of the remains are underway", it quoted an unnamed official as saying.

The repatriation of US service members" remains was among the agreements reached during a historical summit in June between President TrumpDonald John TrumpReporters defend CNN's Acosta after White House says he "disrespected" Trump with question Security costs of Trump visit to Scotland sparks outrage among Scottish citizens Ex-CIA officer: Prosecution of Russians indicted for DNC hack "ain't ever going to happen' MORE and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Just hours after Pompeo left Pyongyang on July 7, the North said it offered to discuss declaring a formal end to the Korean War, but the USA side showed little interest, giving "certain conditions and excuses".

In a statement, Pompeo said the meeting was "productive and co-operative and resulted in firm commitments".

According to a report in ABC News, a planned meeting between the two nations, scheduled to have taken place on Thursday, has been postponed on North Korea's request.

The return of the remains of American soldiers was agreed to during the June 12 North Korea-U.S. Singapore summit.

And even as Trump released Kim's note, the USA was asking the UN Security Council to punish North Korea after finding that Pyongyang had violated restrictions on refined oil imports.

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The North is believed to have about 200 sets of remains ready to be transferred, and U.S. Forces Korea has moved 100 caskets to the border area in anticipation that they will be turned over.

The Pentagon says Pyongyang has indicated several times they have as many as 200 sets of remains that could be those of United States soldiers who died in the war.

A comprehensive report published in 2014 by a United Nations commission concluded that conditions in normal North Korean prisons were often every bit as harsh as those in the political gulags.

The article said the Trump administration should ignore such messages in order to "build the new future of peace and prosperity breaking with the 70-year past dominated by distrust and confrontation".

In the first military-to-military negotiations in more than nine years, a US general met Sunday with a North Korean counterpart at Panmunjom on the Demilitarized Zone for talks on the return of the remains of USA troops missing from the 1950-53 Korean War.

Kim also said he "deeply" appreciates Trump's "energetic and extraordinary efforts" to improve relations and sign a joint statement calling for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The receiving will be handled by the UNC, not the US or the South Korean military. But there has been no major progress in the North's disarmament.

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