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Kim hopes for 'improvement of relations' with United States in letter to Trump

13 July 2018

President Donald Trump has published a letter sent to him by North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un, in which the young ruler praises his USA counterpart but does not mention any commitments to abandon nuclear weapons.

According to estimates from the Pentagon, 7,700 USA troops are still unaccounted for from the Korean War. US intelligence analysts said in the wake of the summit that Pyongyang is working to hide key elements of its program, including the number of weapons it maintains and secret production facilities.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo failed to make any significant progress in fleshing out the North's denuclearization process during his third visit to Pyongyang last week.

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.

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The US military also announced that 100 wooden coffins had been dispatch to Panmunjom to receive the remains, although repatriation has yet to take place.

Pompeo traveled to the North last week to try to iron out the details amid criticism that the US administration had already given up too much, too soon and was being played.

The repatriation of the remains of US soldiers from North Korea has been a major issue between Washington and Pyongyang since the end of the Korean War, when thousands of Americans were left in Korea either missing in action or as prisoners of war. The meeting was about returning the remains of American soldiers from the Korean War.

"Great progress being made", the president said in a tweet that included both a copy of Kim's letter, dated 6 July, and its translation.

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Pompeo was in Pyongyang from Friday to Saturday to try to flesh out a bare bones denuclearisation deal made during last month's historic summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

The Trump administration has insisted that progress is being made.

Pompeo, speaking Wednesday to reporters as he arrived in Brussels for a NATO summit with President Donald Trump, said that change was up to North Koreans.

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. On the day he left the North issued a statement on state-run media accusing the United States of "gangster-like" demands for unilateral disarmament. A confidential United States report presented to the UN security council, however, estimated the delivery of at least 759,793 barrels of oil products to North Korea between 1 January 1 and 30 May.

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