North Koreans Miss Meeting About US Soldier Remains

Trump: Kim Will Get 'Rocket Man' CD Later, Plus Surprise 'Little Gift'

President Trump on Thursday released a personal note from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un praising the "epochal progress" since their summit in Singapore last month, despite a series of recent setbacks that have cast doubt on denuclearization talks. -North Korea relations, despite signs that path-finding diplomacy between the adversaries is running into problems.

In it, Mr Kim says: "I deeply appreciate the energetic and extraordinary efforts made by Your Excellency Mr President".

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte are seen at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2018.

Kim used the abbreviation for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Last month, Trump told a Republican convention in Las Vegas that North Korea had "already sent back, or are in the process of sending back" the remains of 200 U.S. or allied service members following his summit with Kim. Some are pilots who were shot down, some are ground troops, others may be those who died in prisoner-of-war camps.

USA officials declined comment on reports North Korea failed to show up today for talks in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas to discuss the remains.

The illegal supplies were provided through ship-to-ship transfers at sea using North Korean tankers that have called in port at least 89 times "likely to deliver" the shipments, according to the report.

Pompeo was not granted an audience with Kim, and North Korea criticized US demands following the visit.

"The U.S. side had had discussions with the North with an aim to hold the talks as early as July 12, but it appeared that the North was not ready for the talks", the source told Yonhap News Agency on condition of anonymity.

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While it was not immediately clear why the North Korean delegation skipped the meeting, the apparent snub reinforced skepticism around Pyongyang's willingness to commit to denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

The United States accused Pyongyang of illegally importing oil products on Thursday and asked the United Nations Security Council to demand countries halt future deliveries to North Korea.

Pompeo gave a rosier readout.

During an official visit to Britain, Trump posted images of the Korean-language letter from Kim and its English translation.

"Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!"

And even as Trump released Kim's note, the US was asking the U.N. Security Council to punish North Korea after finding that Pyongyang had violated restrictions on refined oil imports.

Kim also suggested he looked forward to his next summit with Trump in the letter.

North Korea has offered to rearrange the meeting over war remains for Sunday instead, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

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