Presumed US war remains repatriated in ceremony at South Korea base

Hannah Rogers
August 1, 2018

Remains handed over by North Korea last week are human and likely American, according to an official with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Additional satellite photos show work now underway at the Sanumdong research facility near the capital city of Pyongyang on at least one and perhaps two liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs.

Last week Pyongyang returned 55 cases of remains from the 1950-53 Korean War, in line with an agreement between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their summit in Singapore in June.

"We will make our best efforts to ensure that we can craft practical measures to reduce military tensions and build trust between the two Koreas through this meeting", Major Gen. Kim Do-gyun, the chief of the five-member South Korean delegation, told reporters before departing for Panmunjom. "Yes, they continue to produce fissile material", Pompeo said, although he declined to answer another query from Markey: whether North Korea continues to pursue building submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

A senior official at South Korea's presidential Blue House said Seoul was open to China's involvement in any peace agreement, but said no decisions had been made.

"We look forward to potentially pursuing (remains recovery) operations in North Korea in the future and we're very hopeful".

It's not clear that North Korea has moved on to a new era of being extra deceptive ... because the current levels of deceptions seem to have been serving it well. Some of them, including Australia, Belgium, France and the Philippines, have yet to recover some of their war dead from North Korea.

The last time North Korea turned over American remains was in 2007.

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North Korea entered talks with the United States and South Korea earlier this year apparently because it urgently needs to revive an economy hit hard by American-led U.N. sanctions. "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea".

United Nations honor guards carry a container with remains transferred by North Korea, at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea on August 1, 2018.

Two Air Force C-17 cargo aircraft will be back to back outside Hangar 19 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Wednesday for the repatriation to American soil of remains turned over by North Korea, an official said.

Unnamed U.S. officials tell the Post that spy satellites have detected activity at a factory outside Pyongyang that produced long-range missiles as recently as July 7.

After racing toward his goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the continental United States, Kim said in April that he had shifted his country's focus to the economy.

"We've been watching the news, and we've been hopeful that my uncle is among the remains", he said.

However, officials did note to the Washington Post that another launch facility - the Sohae Satellite Launching Station on the West Coast - was being partially dismantled. Any work by North Korea on new missiles suggests an expansion of its nuclear capabilities, I would have thought. Indeed, the commitments regarding its nuclear weapons program were so vague as to be nearly meaningless, in my view.

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