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

President Trump warned Kim Jong-un before the United Nations General Assembly last September that the USA stands ready to obliterate North Korea.

But efforts to recover and return the remains have been stalled for more than a decade because of the North's development of nuclear weapons and USA claims that the safety of recovery teams it sent during the administration of President George W. Bush was not sufficiently guaranteed.

"I want to bring our soldiers back home", Trump said, although he added that it's "not part of the equation right now". But we'll be saving a tremendous amount of money.

He said he thinks holding the (quote)"wargames" is very provocative when there's a reconciliatory mood building between Washington and Pyongyang.

In a joint statement signed by the leaders, the countries committed to the recovery of the remains and the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

Meanwhile, he hinted that Seoul-Washington joint military drills could be halted or scaled down. North Korea last month broke off a high-level meeting with Seoul over South Korea's participation in a two-week military exercise with the United States.

Since the 1970s, the United States and South Korea have held a major summertime exercise called Ulchi Freedom Guardian that involves tens of thousands of troops.

South Korea said shortly after the announcement that it needs to figure out the "precise meaning" of Trump's decision.

"The core of the U.S".

On June 6, South Korea's Memorial Day, Moon said the return of the remains of missing Americans and the estimated 120,000 South Koreans also missing from the 1950-53 war was a top priority for the Trump-Kim summit. It was shocking, he said, because these exercises are fundamental to our military relationship with South Korea.

Foster Klug is AP's bureau chief in South Korea and has covered the Koreas since 2005.

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