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

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

US President Donald Trump on Thursday (Jul 12) again signalled optimism about efforts to end the nuclear standoff with North Korea, as he took the extraordinary diplomatic step of tweeting out a letter from Kim Jong Un.

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.

The North's state media normally lead their television bulletins and front pages with Kim's doings, but a seven-day absence from the headlines, including during Pompeo's visit, had prompted speculation on his whereabouts among Korea-watchers. "President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un walk together before their working lunch during their summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore June 12, 2018.

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.

CNN reported last month that the Trump administration is expecting North Korea to return up to 200 sets of remains and that planning for the exchange has been underway.

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According to documents seen by AFP, the USA sent a report to the United Nations sanctions committee that estimated at least 759,793 barrels of oil products had been delivered to North Korea between Jan 1 and May 30, well above the annual quota set at 500,000 barrels under a sanctions resolution adopted in December.

But readers soon pointed out that the letter didn't actually mention any action that had been taken, and only made vague promises about 'the future progress of taking practical actions'.

The White House had said earlier Pompeo would meet with the leader, but the encounter did not materialise and the top United States diplomat only met with Kim Yong Chol.

While the American officials clearly thought a meeting was scheduled, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had previously indicated that the details hadn't been settled before he left North Korea on Saturday.

Last week, North Korea accused the U.S. of using a "gangster-like" tactics to push it towards nuclear disarmament after a fresh round of high-level talks.

President Trump met with North Korean Dictator 26 days ago.

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