US says remains returned by North Korea likely American

The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur

The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

There was activity at the Sanumdong site before President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during which the two leaders discussed the future of the latter's nuclear weapons program.

"There's no reason at this point to doubt that they do relate to Korean War losses", said John Byrd, a forensic anthropologist working for the Hawaii-based agency in charge of identifying the remains.

'Only when their bodies are returned will the families be able to say goodbye to their loved ones in a meaningful way, ' the VOKS said in a letter to Rutte.

USA intelligence officials, citing newly obtained evidence, have concluded that North Korea does not intend to fully surrender its nuclear stockpile, and instead is considering ways to hide the number of weapons it has and secret production facilities, according to US officials. "They have missing, France has missing, Americans have - there's a whole lot of us", Mattis added, referencing the fact that service members from other nations in the UN coalition that fought in the Korean War are unaccounted for.

No additional information was given to help US forensics experts determine who is in those boxes, according to the official.

He also confirmed a single military dog tag was provided with the remains and that the family of that soldier has been notified.

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A United States official said Washington was "concerned" by North Korean violations of UN-approved sanctions, including illegal shipments of oil by sea.

"Pressure on the regime is clearly being felt", Pompeo said. "We do hope that the individual whose dog tag is somewhere among these remains we've taken back, and we will certainly be very aggressive in trying to run that to ground".

The returned material also included military hardware and uniforms, including helmets, water bottles and boots, he said.

The meeting, the first one since June 14, took place at the Peace House, a South Korea-controlled building at the village inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas.

Earlier this month, media reports revealed that the North was secretly operating a suspected uranium enrichment facility, called Kangson.

During the Korean War, combat troops of 16 other United Nations member countries fought alongside USA service members on behalf of South Korea.

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It declares in its preamble that Kim "reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" - nary a word about that denuclearization being verifiable or pertaining exclusively to North Korea, as Pompeo had put it - and it goes on to state, once more, that North Korea "commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

North Korea has already made two of its ICBMs at that plant.

The remains were first flown from the North Korean city of Wonsan last Friday, on the 65th anniversary of the armistice, and were greeted at Osan Air Base by hundreds of USA service personnel and their families.

The remains were then moved in gray vans to an airfield where USA and South Korean soldiers loaded them one by one into transport planes. Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea unilaterally handed over 208 caskets to the USA, which turned out to contain remains of far more than 208 individuals, although forensics specialists thus far have established 181 identities.

Trump's comments came ahead of a security forum in Singapore this week, where US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his North Korean counterpart were expected to attend.

The North Koreans "never agreed to give up their nuclear program", said Ken Gause, a North Korea expert at the Center for Naval Analysis.

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