North Korea Offered Little Help to Identify Remains

Kim Yo Jong with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un

Just last week, satellite images emerged that appeared to show North Korea dismantling a key Sohae satellite launching station.

There is no indication that North Korea is developing new technology, but if confirmed the latest intelligence would raise doubts over the broad commitment Kim Jong-un made to denuclearisation at his summit with President Trump last month.

U.S. soldiers salute during a repatriation ceremony for the remains of USA soldiers who were killed in the Korean War and collected in North Korea, at the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.

Initial forensic analysis suggested the remains were likely to be of American servicemen, the US military said.

'Only when their bodies are returned will the families be able to say goodbye to their loved ones in a meaningful way, ' the VOKS said in a letter to Rutte. "They seem to have figured out the engines, but not all the higher-tech stuff, and that might be what this is about", they said. And it is foolish to expect that they would do so - at the outset of talks, he said. According to the Associated Press, the boxes contain "a single military dog tag but no other information that could help USA forensics experts determine their individual identities".

Byrd said a single identification "dog tag" was also handed over by the North Koreans.

The North Koreans "never agreed to give up their nuclear program", said Ken Gause, a North Korea expert at the Center for Naval Analysis. In addition, a series of US-North Korean recovery efforts, termed "joint field activities", between 1996 and 2005 yielded 229 caskets of remains, of which 153 have been identified, according to the Pentagon. USA intelligence agencies in recent months increased their estimates of the size of North Korea's nuclear arsenal, taking into account enriched uranium from at least one secret enrichment site.

Independent experts came to the same conclusion.

If other remains are found in the boxes, she added, the agency will contact other countries to inform them about the possible return of a service member who went missing in action.

Troops from 16 other nations also fought alongside the Americans under a U.N. flag during the Korean War, and diplomats and officials from all those countries placed wreaths at the ceremony.

Dozens of American, South Korean and other soldiers and officials from United Nations countries that fought in the Korean War conducted a ceremony with full military honors before the remains were loaded into military transport aircraft for the flight to Hawaii on Wednesday.

The Washington Post spoke to multiple intelligence officials who have monitored "ongoing activity" recently from North Korea's nuclear and missile testing facilities.

Friday's transfer of the remains coincided with the 65th anniversary of the 1953 armistice that ended fighting between North Korean and Chinese forces and South Korean and USA -led forces under the U.N. Command.

Bruce Bennett, a senior Rand Corporation researcher, said North Korea's recent moves are a way pressuring Washington for sanctions concessions.

The remains of 55 soldiers returned by North Korea last week are likely Americans, a USA official said Wednesday.

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