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Trump releases 'very nice' letter from Kim Jong Un

12 July 2018
Trump releases 'very nice' letter from Kim Jong Un

Donald Trump has released a letter he received from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un while touting "great progress" in negotiations between the United States and Pyongyang - despite reports of a breakdown in talks. -North Korea relations, despite signs that path-finding diplomacy between the adversaries is running into problems.

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee has asked the head of USA intelligence to assess whether North Korea's posture and actions regarding denuclearization match up with the Trump administration's claims.

The letter is dated July 6.

Kim's late father and predecessor Kim Jong Il was an avid movie fan who even ordered a 1978 kidnapping of a famed South Korean actress and a film director.

Earlier Thursday, a diplomatic source here said the USA and North Korea were still in talks to set a date for working-level dialogue over the repatriation of remains of American troops.

North Korean officials did not show up to a planned meeting with USA officials at the demilitarized zone Thursday, where they were expected to continue discussions on repatriating the remains of Americans killed during the Korean War, a senior USA official tells CNN.

Pompeo last week failed to demonstrate any progress on denuclearization talks, leading one source with knowledge of the discussions to say the White House felt it went "as badly as it could have gone".

Some remains have been returned to the US over the years, but very few since recovery efforts were mostly halted in 2005 as U.S.

It wasn't immediately clear what prompted the postponement. Pyongyang has asked the UN Command Armistice Commission to upgrade the talks to a higher level to include a US general, South Korea's foreign ministry said.

US officials and experts have said the shift in attitude was to be expected as the North Koreans are known for brinkmanship and trying to up the ante ahead of tough negotiations over their nuclear missile program.

Pompeo told reporters after his visit to North Korea last week that the meeting in the truce village Panmunjom was set for Thursday but "could move by one day or two".

While the summit represented a major thaw in relations, US sanctions on North Korea, among the most stringent in the world, will remain in place until the Kim regime implements "final, fully verified denuclearization", US State Secretary Mike Pompeo said last week.

Pompeo gave a rosier readout.

"The two sides are now communicating to determine when to meet".

"President Trump and Chairman Kim made a commitment to recover the remains of U.S. service members in North Korea as well as to repatriate remains that they now have", stated Kelly McKeague, Director of U.S. Defense of POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

But there's growing skepticism in Washington over the Trump administration's engagement with North Korea.

North Korean negotiators failed to show up for scheduled talks with the U.S.at Panmunjeom, Thursday, on repatriating the remains of USA soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, indicating a possible rift between the two countries in ongoing denuclearization talks.