North Korea didn't show up at meeting with U.S.

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North Korean officials did not turn up to a Thursday meeting with the US military about repatriating the remains of American war dead, according to a USA official with knowledge of the situation.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have been too busy visiting a potato farm to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Pyongyang's state media implied Tuesday. But given the harsh statements from Pyongyang following Pompeo's trip last week - the North Korean Foreign Ministry blasted Washington's stance on denuclearization as "gangster-like" - it's possible that it's gonna be a long, long time.

North Korea may allow the United States to resume a search for thousands of American war dead from the 1950-53 Korean War, but it will be months before excavations can begin and years until bone fragments are identified, a senior U.S. official said.

Foreign ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said, "The government hopes the agreements reached between leaders at the North Korea-U.S. summit, including the repatriation of Korean War remains, will be swiftly carried out as a means to fulfill the objective of complete denuclearization and establishment of a peace system on the Korean Peninsula".

The meeting came only weeks after Kim pledged to "denuclearise" his country at a summit in Singapore with Donald Trump.

The Thursday talk was scheduled to begin in the morning with officials of the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.N. Command Security Battalion and North Korea, Newsis reported.

Mr Pompeo arrived in the North Korean capital on July 6 - but his three-day visit was ignored by the North Korean dictator.

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North Korea also proposed to reschedule the meeting for Sunday.

In the meantime, satellite images of a missile-manufacturing facility in the city of Hamhung showed North Korea is expanding its ballistic weapons program.

North Korean officials skipped planned talks on repatriating the remains of American war dead Thursday in the latest snub of a US administration eager to show progress on efforts to rid the communist state of nuclear weapons.

"Kim has played Trump like a Stradivarius".

An estimated 30,000 United States soldiers died in the 1950-53 Korean war. Trump tweeted the signed letter, saying it was a "very nice note" and that "great progress was being made".

Between 1996 and 2005, some 33 recovery operations were conducted in North Korea which saw 200 sets of remains returned.

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