South Korea suspends drills as ‘tremendous’ U.S. war exercise costs revealed

Cheryl Sanders
July 12, 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited North Korea late last week for his first overnight stay, meeting with senior North Korean officials but not Kim Jong-un.

Accusations from US politicians, however, have triggered nationalistic sentiment among Chinese netizens.

While recovering the war dead would provide Trump a political victory similar to Kim's May release of three American detainees, it would do little to advance the goal of dismantling the regime's weapons program.

Trump has claimed the USA pays far too much of NATO's defense budget while other members fail to meet the agreed 2 percent of gross domestic product. But the president's optimistic outlook about North Korea's willingness to denuclearize and steps in that direction have been brought into question, after an NBC report claiming North Korea has been expanding a nuclear facility.

North Korean officials skipped planned talks on repatriating the remains of American war dead Thursday in the latest snub of a US administration eager to show progress on efforts to rid the communist state of nuclear weapons.

Pompeo underscored the importance he places on the issue earlier this week when he tweeted that North Korea had committed to repatriating remains.

Critics at the time also argued the North was using the program to extort money from Washington, prompting the label "bones for bucks".

U.S. negotiators arrived Thursday at the militarized border between the two Koreas as previously announced by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and were kept waiting, the Yonhap News Agency reported, citing diplomatic officials it didn't identify.

Shortly after Pompeo's departure, the North Korean foreign ministry issued a statement blasting his conduct as "unilateral and gangster-like".

"We have yet to see any specifics from that commitment", said McKeague, director of the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).

"Just now you said that some people in the United States associated the inconsistency of the statements made by the DPRK and the USA after their high-level meeting with China's role in the Korean Peninsula issue", she noted.

The Trump administration has insisted that progress is being made.

"If I were President Trump, I would not let China use North Korea to back me off of the trade dispute", Graham told the U.S cable news network program Fox News Sunday after North Korean officials called their talks with Pompeo "regrettable" and accused the USA of making "gangster-like demands" on denuclearization.

Trump called Kim "Little Rocket Man" or "Rocket Man" in several tweets in 2017 and early 2018 and has said that North Korea's continued threats against the US would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen". "We're not going to be sidelined or sidetracked".

Other reports by iNewsToday