WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday for "fulfilling a promise" to return the remains of US soldiers who were missing in the Korean War as US military aircraft made a rare trip to North Korea to recover 55 cases that were said to contain remains.
About 7,700 US soldiers remain missing from the 1
Defense Minister Jim Mattis warned that the transfer of remnants is "separate." So far, what have been the efforts to negotiate the complete denuclearization of North Korea? But he said it was a step in the right direction after the Singapore Trump Kim Summit.
"This is obviously a gesture of continuation of what they agreed in Singapore, and we take it as such," Mattis told reporters Friday. "We also see it as the first step in a newly started process, so we want to make extra efforts to bring others home."
Despite the rapid rhetoric of denuclearization prior to the Singapore meeting, the summit ended with a vague goal for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, without describing when and how this would happen
The subsequent talks between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean government officials kicked off a difficult start earlier this month when the North accused the Americans of being "unilateral and gangster-like demands for denuclearization. Www.socialistgroup.eu/gpes/newsdeta…ome&site=msc On Wednesday, Pompeo said that there was still a lot to do before a denuclearization deal with North Korea, but he refused to set a timetable. Englisch: www.socialistgroup.org/gpes/session…08&place=STR.
Trump turned to South Lawn's reporters and said Vice President Mike Pence would return the families and the remains of the soldiers
"We come many more, but I want to thank President Kim in front of the media for joining He has fulfilled his promise, and I'm sure he will continue to live up to that promise while searching, searching and searching, "said Trump.
"These incredible American heroes will soon rest on sacred American soil," he added.
Pence, the son of a veteran of the Korean War, said in a statement that he will attend the ceremony when the remains arrive at US United Nations Command, said the remains would be on Wednesday after a full ceremony in Seoul to be flown to Hawaii.
"It is profoundly humble to be part of this historical moment," said Pence. "We will never forget the sacrifices made by these brave soldiers and their families for our nation and our freedoms."
Early Friday morning, a US Air Force C-17 transport aircraft made a rare trip to North Korea for 55 cases believed to be left over from the Korean War. Then the plane flew from Wonsan to Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, near the South Korean capital Seoul.
At the Air Force Base, US soldiers and a military honor guard lined up on the tarmac to pick up the remains of boxes covered with blue UN flags. Officials in North Korea did not comment on the transfer, which took place on the 65th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.
Once the cases arrive in Hawaii, a series of forensic investigations are conducted to determine if the remains are human and if the dead were American or allied troops killed in the conflict.
Mattis pointed out this emerging question, saying "we do not know who is in these boxes." But he said that the gesture is important to families of the fallen, that can be any ally who also fought in the war.
"We have families who never closed when they received the telegram," Mattis said. "They never went out and brought the body back."
More than 36,000 US soldiers died during the conflict, including those reported missing.
The remnants of remnants could be followed by stronger North Korean demands for quick discussions to officially end the war, which ended with a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty. The South Korean Ministry of Defense also said that the North agreed to military talks at the general level next week in a border village to reduce tensions on the heavily armed border.
It is believed that the remains belong to the over 200 in the north Korea has held some time in the camp and was probably picked up during agriculture or the construction of land. However, the overwhelming majority of the war dead must still be found and brought back from cemeteries and battlefields across the country.
Efforts to recover American casualties have stalled for more than a decade over a stalemate over North Korea's nuclear weapons program, and a previous US claim that security arrangements for its north-facing personnel are inadequate.
From 1996 to 2005, joint US and North Korean military search parties carried out 33 sanitation operations, collecting 229 American remains. The last time North Korea returned its remains was in 2007, when Bill Richardson, a former UN ambassador and governor of New Mexico, secured the return of six sentences.
Washington said Pyongyang will not receive any sanctions and significant security and economic rewards, unless it expressly commits to a process of complete and demonstrable destruction of its nuclear weapons. There is still some doubt as to whether Kim would ever be prepared to give up his nuclear weapons altogether, which he considers a stronger guarantee of survival than the security guarantees that the US could offer.
Ahn reported from Pyeongtaek, South Korea. Kim reported on Seoul and Baldor of Washington. AP journalists Eric Talmadge in Pyongyang, North Korea, Kim Yong-ho in Pyeongtaek, Foster Klug in Seoul and Ken Thomas and Sagar Meghani in Washington contributed to the report.
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