The repatriation of the remains of USA soldiers from North Korea has been a major issue between Washington and Pyongyang since the end of the Korean War, when thousands of Americans were left in Korea either missing in action or as prisoners of war.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday a flattering letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that followed up on June's historic summit in Singapore. 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.
"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.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brought two gifts for Kim with him on his trip to meet North Korean officials in Pyongyang last week.
When President Donald Trump announced the United States would halt joint military drills with South Korea, he backed his controversial move by citing the "tremendous" costs of such exercises.
More than 36,000 US troops died in the three-year war, which ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula divided by one of the world's most heavily fortified borders. Kim is reportedly eyeing Switzerland as a potential venue for a second meeting, with North Korean diplomats sent to Bern, Davos, and Geneva last week to scope out hotels and conference centers, Kyodo reported.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he does, in fact, plan to give North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a CD with the Elton John hit "Rocket Man", as well as another mystery gift "at a certain period". The U.S. -led United Nations Command's public affairs office referred questions to the State Department. "It is likely that military generals from the USA and North Korea will take part in the meeting".
Coming after a year of Twitter taunts and nuclear brinkmanship, the meeting between Kim and Trump was historic, in that it was the first meeting between a U.S. president and his North Korean counterpart.
However, recovery efforts were suspended when the relationship between both countries worsened, as the North began the advancement of its nuclear programme. He also told supporters in Nevada that North Korea had already handed over 200 sets of remains.