Kim Jong-un Blew Off Mike Pompeo to Visit a Potato Farm

Leroy Wright
July 13, 2018

Caskets that the US shipped to the border last month haven't been filled, despite Kim Jong Un's pledge during his June 12 summit with President Donald Trump to immediately repatriate identified remains.

Earlier Thursday, a diplomatic source here said the US and North Korea were still in talks to set a date for working-level dialogue over the repatriation of remains of American troops.

The letter made no mention of North Korea's plans to denuclearize.

The letter, sent on July 6, was unveiled exactly a month after Trump and Kim's historic summit in Singapore.

North Korean officials did not turn up to a Thursday meeting with the USA military about repatriating the remains of the war dead, according to a US official with knowledge of the situation.

He also agreed to repatriate remains of U.S. troops who died during the Korean War six decades ago.

Mr. Trump said he received "a very nice note" from Mr. Kim on Twitter.

Several days previously, Pyongyang had slated the U.S. for seeking unilateral and forced denuclearization from North Korea.

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Kim expressed deep appreciation for "the energetic and extraordinary efforts made by Your Excellency Mr. President and for the improvement of relations between the two countries and the faithful implementation of the joint statement".

Adam Mount, an analyst at the Federation of American Scientists who focuses on US nuclear strategy and North Korea, said in a tweet that Kim "blows off Pompeo in Pyongyang, has his team stand up USA negotiators in the DMZ, but still delights Trump with a vague note".

While recovering the war dead would provide Trump a political victory similar to Kim's May release of three American detainees, it would do little to advance the goal of dismantling the regime's weapons program. "We will be ready".

With the meeting not taking place, the UNC reportedly made a phone call and North Koreans responded by saying that they needed to upgrade the "level" of the talks.

Interested in North Korea?

The North Korean leader said he hopes to "bring our next meeting forward" in the concluding sentence of the letter.

Some remains have been returned to the USA over the years, but very few since recovery efforts were mostly halted in 2005 as U.S.

The fact that North Korea seem to be dragging its feet on this issue fuels already growing doubts among President Trump's critics about whether the Singapore summit was a success or simply a publicity stunt for Mr Kim, the BBC's Cindy Sui in Seoul reports.

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