Trump, Kim Commit to 'Immediate Repatriation' of Korean War Missing

Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump

Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump

As North Korea was conducting multiple missile tests a year ago and threatening to attack the U.S., Mr. Trump responded with rhetoric that was unusually aggressive for a U.S. leader.

Almost 7,800 American troops remain unaccounted for from the 1950-53 war in the Korean Peninsula.

The joint statement signed by U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stated: "The United States and the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified".

The Pentagon has said the exercises are essential to alliance-building and military readiness.

The Korean Central News Agency and the Korean Central Television reported Monday that Kim departed from Pyongyang on Sunday morning via a Chinese chartered airplane to hold a summit with his USA counterpart in Singapore.

A spokeswoman for US military forces in Korea, meanwhile, said it had not received any direction to cease joint military drills.

President Trump warned Kim Jong-un before the United Nations General Assembly last September that the USA stands ready to obliterate North Korea. Then he said: "We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should".


"I was shocked when he called the exercises 'provocative, ' a very unlikely word to be used by a US president", the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because it was a politically sensitive issue.

And in signing the peace treaty after declaring the end of the Korean War, Trump said he will involve both South and North Korea as well as China as signatories.

North Korea's state media, referring to the drills, recently demanded that Washington "stop the acts of threatening its dialogue partner by force".

The comments could fundamentally change the way the United States, whose alliance with Seoul was forged after a 1950 surprise attack by the North started the Korean War, operates in South Korea.

"The core of the U.S".

"I think it is well to keep in mind that Kim Jong Un has given up nothing at this point".

Associated Press writers Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul and Gillian Wong in Beijing contributed to this report.

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