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US to send caskets to NKorea to return war remains

24 June 2018

More than 36,000 U.S. troops died in the 1950-1953 war. "But we have to get him to keep it tough", Trump said.

But the North Korean test site at Punggye-ri was demolished in late May, weeks before the summit, and there does not appear to have been any disarmament activity since then despite Trump's boast.

At their summit, Kim and Trump signed a pledge "to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", a stock phrase favored by Pyongyang that stopped short of longstanding U.S. demands for North Korea to give up its atomic arsenal in a "verifiable" and "irreversible" way. We want to have a constructive relationship with the government of China.

Trump also agreed to suspend military exercises with South Korea in what was seen as a major win for North Korea and its chief allies, China and Russian Federation.

Two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that while North Korea was expected to return the remains of soldiers in coming days, they had not yet been returned.

It could signal North Korea is willing to include a moratorium on satellite launches in addition to their missile and nuclear tests, which has been a point of contention in past agreements and derailed negotiations in the past. 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. For now, Trump has maintained UN-led sanctions on North Korea, but China alone could dent the worldwide pressure, as it is the North's biggest trading partner and supplier of food and energy.

A bigger cause for concern is that Trump, who now seems to have a two-track approach - military and economic - toward what he had called "maximum pressure", may ease his position on economic sanctions, too. U.S. officials, however, have cautioned that such actions are reversible.

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One does not need a calculation of the exponential exposure or advertising value to be convinced that Singapore has benefited from facilitating the Trump-Kim summit (Singapore may have gained over $700m in exposure as host: Analyst; June 14).

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

"We are also moving United Nations Command (UNC) flags to the JSA and also trestles on which the boxes can stand as we prep them ready to move them to Osan, " a US Forces Korea (USFK) official said.

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

The Pentagon has said North Korean officials have indicated in the past they have the remains of as many as 200 USA troops, and Trump himself has mentioned that figure.

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.

US to send caskets to NKorea to return war remains