Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Presumed American remains from Korea War head home

Presumed American remains from Korea War head home

Activity seen at a factory in North Korea that produced the country's first intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) indicates it is constructing new missiles, a US-based newspaper has reported quoting intelligence officials.

Citing anonymous officials familiar with the intelligence, the report said the imagery did not necessarily suggest an expansion of current North Korean ICBM capabilities, but showed work on the weaponry continues, weeks after Mr. Trump declared via Twitter that Pyongyang was "no longer a Nuclear Threat". Trump later suspended annual military drills with South Korea which North Korea had long called an invasion rehearsal.

It deemed North Korea unlikely to stage a ballistic missile blitz in light of eased tensions following landmark summit talks in Singapore in June between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday played down the significance of the Post report.

A C-17 containing remains of fallen service members departed Wonsan, North Korea, on Thursday Hawaii time headed to South Korea and accompanied by United Nations Command Korea officials and technical experts from the accounting agency to preliminarily examine the remains. "Things don't change overnight", Conway later added.

North Korea is, however, dismantling some of its missile test sites.

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The two discussed various bilateral issues, officials said, but neither Beijing, which supported North Korea in the war, nor Seoul confirmed whether they discussed a declaration ending the war.

Since the Singapore summit, independent researchers and U.S. intelligence reports published by news organisations have suggested that North Korea is still expanding its weapons programme.

Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was forced to admit that North Korea was continuing to produce nuclear fissile material, though he insisted that "progress is happening".

Trump's remark at a political rally Wednesday in Tampa, Florida, was the latest sign of friction between the United States and North Korea, as they attempt to implement on Kim's June 12 agreement to "work toward complete denuclearisation".

Pyongyang has said it has the remains of about 200 people believed to be US troops who died in the Korean War.

More than 400 caskets of remains found in North Korea were returned to the United States between the 1990s and 2005, with the bodies of some 330 other Americans also accounted for, according to the DPAA. "North Korea has great potential for the future!"

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Independent missile experts also told The Washington Post that they have found evidence that is consistent with us agency findings and that there is ongoing activity. At least one of the new missiles is another one of these.

On Friday, North Korea returned the suspected remains of more than 50 USA soldiers killed during the Korean War, taking a step in implementing the June agreement.

"Pressure on the regime is clearly being felt", Pompeo said. It has in the past two years quickly advanced its nuclear programme.

Honor guards carry the remains of USA servicemen killed in the Korean War and collected in North Korea, during a ceremony at the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.

This is not the first sign that Trump's summit with Kim was practically meaningless.

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