North Korea still a nuclear threat

Frederick Owens
June 24, 2018

President Donald Trump on Friday cited "an unusual and extraordinary threat" from North Korea's nuclear arsenal to extend sanctions on Kim Jong Un's regime, despite touting the success of a historic summit earlier this month.

But merely ten days after saying there was no risk from Pyongyang, Trump said that there is an "extraordinary threat" from its nuclear weapons.

It does sound that way, but the U.S. has had a "national emergency" in place with regard to North Korea since 2008.

The U.S. insistence on the complete denuclearization of North Korea could work against America's interests as political pressure mounts to make rapid progress, analysts say.

U.S. Forces Korea said in a statement later in the day that 100 wooden "temporary transit cases" built in Seoul were sent to the Joint Security Area at the border as part of preparations to "receive and transport remains in a dignified manner when we get the call to do so".

The Trump administration has identified the missile test engine site that it says North Korea has pledged to destroy, but the president's latest comments about resolving the nuclear standoff have raised new questions about what concessions Pyongyang has made.

Though the notice is considered pro forma, the disparity in tone reflects the work that USA officials concede remains to be done as negotiators thrash out the details of Pyongyang's disarmament.

In May, prior to the summit, North Korea demolished tunnels at its sole underground nuclear test site, although outsiders have not inspected the result. "North Korea has great potential for the future!"

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Richard Downes, whose father went missing in the Korean War and is president of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, was optimistic the Trump-Kim summit would lead to the return of more remains.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Duluth, Minn.

The harsh economic restrictions will continue for one year under the order.

He said: 'They've stopped the sending of missiles, including ballistic missiles.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency cited an unnamed source as saying that about 30 us military vehicles carrying the caskets were expected to cross into the North on Saturday afternoon.

"To support implementing the outcomes of the Singapore Summit, and in coordination with our Republic of Korea ally, Secretary Mattis has indefinitely suspended select exercises", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement. "And they blew up sites where they test and do the testing", the president said.

A year ago 7,500 U.S. soldiers and 3,000 South Korean troops took part in the Freedom Guardian exercises, which the Pentagon has always maintained are purely defensive.

After meeting Mr Kim in Singapore, Mr Trump told reporters: "Under the circumstances, that we're negotiating".

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