N. Korea-US talks on track: Moon
N. Koreans no show at planned US war dead talks: report
SEOUL, July 12, (Agencies): South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday that North Korea’s criticism of the United States after recent talks on denuclearisation was part of its strategy and negotiations between them are on the “right track”.
North Korea accused the United States on Saturday of making “gangster-like” demands in the talks in North Korea late last week, contradicting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who said the old enemies had made progress.
Moon, speaking in Singapore with its president and prime minister, said that talks on the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula between North Korea and the United States may face hurdles and take time, his office said.
“No one can be optimistic about the results, but my cautious outlook is that the negotiations would be able to succeed if the North carries out a complete denuclearisation, and the international community gathers efforts to provide security guarantees to the North,” Moon said.
Meanwhile, NATO leaders on Wednesday called on all nations to maintain “decisive pressure” on North Korea, including by fully implementing United Nations sanctions, to persuade it to give up it nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
The allies also expressed concern about Iran’s intensified missile tests and said the alliance was committed “to permanently ensuring that Iran’s nuclear programme remains peaceful”.
The summit declaration signed by the 29 NATO leaders reiterated the alliance’s full support for the goal of “complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.”
In related news, North Korean officials did not show up at planned talks with the US Thursday to discuss returning the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War, according to a Yonhap report.
Returning the remains of the US troops who perished during the 1950-53 conflict was part of a deal signed by the North’s leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump during their landmark summit last month.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who visited Pyongyang last week to flesh out the denuclearisation deal, said a Pentagon team would meet with the North’s officials on or around Thursday at the inter-Korea border to discuss the repatriation. A US official waited at the border truce village of Panmunjom Thursday but no North Korean official showed up, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said, citing a Seoul diplomatic source.
“The US wanted to have talks as early as July 12 but the North did not seem to be ready,” according to an unnamed Seoul official.
“Both the US and the North are still in discussion over when to meet,” the official was quoted as saying, adding that the US wanted to make a formal announcement soon.
Dozens of wooden coffins to carry the American remains have recently been brought to the southern side of the border, the report added.