Published: Sun, June 24, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Trump Says North Korea 'Total Denuclearisation' Started, Officials See No New Moves

Trump Says North Korea 'Total Denuclearisation' Started, Officials See No New Moves

Close to 7,700 US troops remain unaccounted for from the Korean War, and about 5,300 of those were lost in North Korea. With Xi standing behind him, Kim could also believe that he would have a stronger negotiating position vis-a-vis the US.

Richard Downes, executive director of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, said last week 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 and could be easily returned.

The Jun 12 meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim culminated in the North Korean leader reaffirming his "firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula".

Also Friday, the US and South Korea agreed to indefinitely suspend two exchange program training exercises, to support diplomatic negotiations with North Korea, the Pentagon said. North Korea's posturing could be China's way of leveraging its involvement in negotiations versus the $50 Billion worth of tariffs imposed by Trump's administration. The U.S. has long looked to China to use its influence with North Korea to bring it to negotiations, but the visit comes as ties between Beijing and Washington are being tested by a major trade dispute.

Government and military officials in South Korea said Friday that the return of the remains is expected to take a significant amount of time given how many there are and that various ideas about the method of repatriation are being mulled.

Officials had announced on Monday that planning for Freedom Guard had been suspended in line with Mr. Trump's decision to halt what he called U.S. USA officials, however, have cautioned that such actions are reversible.

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While Pompeo pushes on with follow up talks, Trump appears happy to celebrate the summit as a success, as if the joint statement itself marked a beginning to the end of Kim's nuclear program.

Given Trump's unpredictability and abruptness, no one can guarantee that he will not seek to ease sanctions for unconvincing reasons.

He also speculated about the eventual withdrawal of 28,500 USA troops from South Korea.

As experts highlighted, it should be noted that Kim never mentioned CVID, only repeating a "phased, synchronized" approach toward denuclearization.

SEOUL, South Korea The U.S. military said it moved 100 wooden coffins to the inter-Korean border to prepare for North Korea's returning of the remains of American soldiers who have been missing since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Dismantling the core elements of maximum pressure is something that should be done only after - or simultaneously at least - with the dismantlement of the North's nuclear capability.

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