US, North Korea to meet on Sunday over war remains

15 July, 2018, 16:29 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Kim Jong-un sends Trump ‘a very nice note,’ says nothing about denuclearization

North Korean players and officials have arrived in South Korea to take part in an worldwide table tennis tournament set for this week in Daejeon.

He was referring the summit statement signed by the two leaders - the first-ever US-North Korean summit - in which Kim agreed in broad terms to "work toward denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency, citing South Korean government and USA military sources, said the negotiations had begun at 0100 GMT at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas.

"We understand that the North-US talks on repatriation of the remains are underway", it quoted an unnamed official as saying.

Three vehicles of USA forces in South Korea, flying United Nations flags, were spotted heading to the border earlier in the day, Yonhap said.

Pyongyang later proposed a military generals' meeting with the U.S. -led U.N. Command on Sunday, and Washington accepted it.

Pompeo happy with negotiations with North Korea. Image Getty Images
Pompeo happy with negotiations with North Korea. Image Getty Images

A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman in Seoul was not available for comment.

Follow-up talks between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean senior officials had a rocky start, with Pyongyang accusing Washington of making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands. In 2013, the North severed its hotline with the UNC, declaring the armistice that ended the Korean War null and void. But a US military official familiar with the matter said last month it was not clear what North Korea might hand over.

The North's proposal of talks with the UNC, even though the UNC is led by the US, was seen as an attempt to use the meeting not only to discuss the repatriation of war remains but also other issues, such as a proposal to jointly declare an end to the Korean War.

Aside of sports exchanges, the Koreas recently agreed to hold new rounds of temporary reunions between aging relatives separated by their 1950-53 war, set up a liaison office and restore military communications lines that could defuse crises along their tense border.

Sunday's talks were expected to focus on such details as when and how the remains should be transferred.


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