Sunday, August 19, 2018 | ePaper

US, North Korea hold 'productive' talks on war remains: Pompeo

  • Print


US and North Korean officials held "productive" talks on Sunday to discuss the return of US service members' remains missing since the Korean War, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

AP, Seoul :
U.S. and North Korean officials held "productive" talks Sunday to discuss the return of U.S. service members' remains missing since the Korean War, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
Pompeo, who was not part of the talks, said in a statement that working level meetings between U.S. and North Korean officials would begin on Monday "to coordinate the next steps, including the transfer of remains already collected" in North Korea.
It was not immediately clear who took part in Sunday's talks, held at the tense inter-Korean border. Pompeo said they were "the first General Officer-level talks" with North Korea since 2009.
He said the meeting "was aimed at fulfilling one of the commitments" made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at last month's summit with President Donald Trump in Singapore. "Today's talks were productive and cooperative and resulted in firm commitments," Pompeo said.
"Additionally, both sides agreed to re-commence field operations in the DPRK to search for the estimated 5,300 Americans who never returned home," he said. North Korea is officially known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
North Korean officials skipped a planned meeting with U.S. officials over the war remains last week, citing lack of preparations. South Korea's Foreign Ministry said the North then requested higher level talks with the U.S.-led United Nations Command.
There's speculation that Pyongyang is trying to fast-track discussions on more critical issues, such as reaching a declaration to formally end the war, which stopped on an armistice and not a peace treaty.
Sunday's meeting came a week after Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang to begin follow-up talks to last month's Singapore summit in which Trump and Kim issued vague aspirations for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing when and how it would occur.
Last month, the U.S. military moved 100 wooden coffins to the inter-Korean border to prepare for the return of U.S. war remains, which was a rare tangible commitment the North made during the Trump-Kim summit.
About 7,700 U.S. soldiers are listed as missing from the Korean War, and 5,300 of the missing are believed to be in North Korea. The war killed millions, including 36,000 American soldiers. Richard Downes, executive director of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, said recently that he had been told the North may have the remains of more than 200 American service members that were likely recovered from land during farming or construction.
Efforts to recover U.S. war remains have been stalled for more than a decade due to tensions over North Korea's nuclear program and a previous U.S. claim that security arrangement for its personnel working in the North was insufficient.

More News For this Category

Ex-CIA directors issue unprecedented Trump condemnation

Ex-CIA directors issue unprecedented Trump condemnation

AFP, Washington :Former CIA directors and another half dozen of America's most senior spies have issued an unprecedented condemnation of President Donald Trump, after his decision to blacklist their

North  Korea urges Trump to be 'bold' on denuclearisation

North Korea urges Trump to be 'bold' on denuclearisation

AFP, Seoul :North Korean state media blamed Donald Trump's political opponents for the "deadlock" over denuclearisation on Saturday, urging the US President to act boldly to make progress on

Saudi Arabia tests Japan-inspired 'nap pods' for Hajj

Saudi Arabia tests Japan-inspired 'nap pods' for Hajj

AFP, Makkah :Mansour al-Amer swipes a card to reveal a narrow sleep pod, reminiscent of Japan's famed capsule hotels. But this pod is in Saudi Arabia, where the Muslim

News In Brief

Taliban say no peace with 'occupation,' want US talksAP, KabulThe leader of the Taliban said Saturday there will be no peace in Afghanistan as long as the foreign "occupation"

UN chief suggests options for improved Palestinian protection

UN chief suggests options for improved Palestinian protection

AFP, United Nations :UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday presented four options aimed at boosting the protection of Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territories, from sending UN rights monitors and unarmed

People plucked from rooftops as Indian floods kill 324

People plucked from rooftops as Indian floods kill 324

AP, New Delhi :Rescuers used helicopters and boats on Friday to evacuate thousands of people stranded on their rooftops following unprecedented flooding in the southern Indian state of Kerala

Chinese bombers likely training for US strikes: Pentagon

Chinese bombers likely training for US strikes: Pentagon

AFP, Washington :Chinese bombers are likely training for strikes against US and allied targets in the Pacific, according to a new Pentagon report that also details how Beijing is transforming

Won't be silenced by Trump, says ex-CIA chief after being blacklisted

Won't be silenced by Trump, says ex-CIA chief after being blacklisted

Reuters, Washington :Former CIA Director John Brennan said on Thursday he would not be silenced by Donald Trump, a day after the U.S. president revoked the Obama-era official's security clearance

US threatens more action against Turkey unless pastor freed

US threatens more action against Turkey unless pastor freed

The US warned Thursday it would levy more sanctions on the troubled Turkish economy if Ankara does not soon release a jailed American pastor described by President Donald Trump as

Ex-Trump aide releases recording of $15,000 job offer to

Ex-Trump aide releases recording of $15,000 job offer to "buy silence"

AFP, Washington  :Former "Apprentice" and White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman released an audio recording Thursday which appeared to show President Donald Trump's daughter-in-law trying to buy her silence.The disgruntled