China's June Trade With North Korea Falls By More Than Half


North Korean and USA military officials met at the inter-Korea border Sunday to discuss repatriation of the remains of American troops killed during the Korean War, a report said.

He added that both the US and North Korea would recommence field operations to search for additional American remains from the war.

The North also failed to show up at a July 12 meeting that had been announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, reportedly asking the Americans to send a general officer on Sunday for the first high-level military talks between the two sides in more than nine years.

Pompeo initially said the two sides had agreed to hold talks on USA remains on Thursday but no North Korean representatives showed up at the border. Gen. Michael Minihan, the UNC's chief of staff, represented the American delegation.

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"The DPRK will grant an amnesty to those who had been convicted of the crimes against the country and people on the occasion of the 70th founding anniversary of the DPRK", the state-owned media said.

According to documents seen by AFP, the U.S. 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 January 1 and May 30, well above the annual quota set at 500,000 barrels under a sanctions resolution adopted in December.

The U.S. government estimates that the North Korean government has about 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners in detention. The war killed millions, including 36,000 American soldiers. North Korea then proposed meeting U.S. military officials on Sunday, U.S. and South Korean officials have said. The U.S. keeps about 28,000 troops in South Korea.

The Korean War raged from 1950 until 1953, though it ultimately ended with a ceasefire agreement rather than a formal peace treaty, meaning it is still technically ongoing.

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But a USA military official familiar with the matter said last month it was not clear what North Korea might hand over.

Last month, the United Nations special rapporteur for the North, Tomas Ojea Quintana, urged Pyongyang to begin releasing prisoners under a gradual general amnesty.

There were no reports from the North Korean side about the meeting.

The joint US-North Korea program to search for remains began in 1996 but was suspended in 2005 due to rising nuclear tensions.

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North Korea has long trumpeted a denuclearization goal, but one that it sees as a lengthy process of undefined multilateral disarmament on the entire Korean peninsula, rather than a unilateral dismantlement of its nuclear arsenal.