White House Unhappy With Pompeo-North Korea Visit

S. Korea approves rare screening of N. Korea films

South Korea scraps annual government war drill as talks with North go on

Joint U.S. -North Korean military search teams recovered 229 sets of American remains from North Korea between 1996 and 2005.

On Monday, the Pentagon put a dollar amount - about US$14 million - on the costs of Freedom Guardian, a large-scale joint drill that was to kick off in August but which was shelved after Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a historic summit Singapore last month.

Roh Kyu-deok, a spokesman for South Korea's Foreign Ministry, said the South Korean government is "constantly in contact with the USA counterpart" about progress of the talks on war remains repatriation, but declined to comment on any details, saying that all inquiries on the issue be directed to the US authorities.

More than 36,000 US troops died in the three-year war, which ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula divided by one of the world's most heavily fortified borders.

There are about 7,700 USA soldiers classified as missing in action from the war.

It had been expected at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom.

The process could get a kickstart when North Korean and United Nations officials meet on Thursday in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that divides the Koreas to discuss service members missing in action (MIA).

"President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Trump told a crowd of supporters a week later that the remains of 200 Americans "have been sent back".

North Korea's failure to show up to the meeting follows a tempestuous week in the ongoing denuclearization talks with Washington.

Pyongyang has reportedly asked the United Nations Command Armistice Commission to upgrade the talks to a higher level to include a US general, South Korea's foreign ministry said.

When Trump announced the U.S. would halt joint military drills with South Korea, he backed his controversial move by citing the "tremendous" costs of such exercises.

While lacking in specifics about the status of diplomatic talks between the U.S. and North Korea, Kim's letter lavishes praise on Trump, repeatedly referring to the President as "Your Excellency".

He also accused China, the North's sole, yet powerful, ally, of seeking to undermine the deal.

However, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said during a visit to Singapore on Thursday that denuclearization talks were on the right track.

Pompeo underscored the importance he places on the issue earlier this week when he tweeted that North Korea had committed to repatriating remains.

However, recovery efforts were suspended when the relationship between both countries worsened, as the North began the advancement of its nuclear programme.

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