20:16 GMT +320 November 2018
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    In this image released by the White House, then-CIA director Mike Pompeo shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea, during a 2018 East weekend trip.

    US, North Korea Create Working Group on Aspects of Denuclearization

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    Washington and Pyongyang have established a working group to work through the "nitty gritty stuff" on issues impacting the two formerly antagonistic nations, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters Friday, including the repatriation of US soldiers' remains and validating North Korea's efforts to denuclearize.

    Pompeo visited North Korea this week as part of the ongoing diplomatic efforts between the US and North Korea, according to the US State Department. Pompeo and North Korean officials discussed repatriating the soldiers' remains and denuclearization, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Friday evening.

    After leaving the negotiating venue, Pompeo made a secure phone call to US President Donald Trump to brief him on the meeting, according to pool reporters. 

    While Trump promised that the return of soldiers' remains from the Korean War in the 1950s was happening shortly after he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12, Pompeo told the US Senate in late June that Pyongyang had yet to deliver them. "We have not yet physically received them," America's top diplomat told the Senate Appropriations Committee June 29.

    Days after Kim and Trump held a historic summit in Singapore on June 12, Trump erroneously exclaimed that Pyongyang was "already starting to produce the remains of these great, young soldiers who were left in North Korea." The president also added at the time, "we're getting the remains and nobody thought that was possible."

    On Friday, Kyodo news agency reported that the second meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un may take place in Switzerland

    The sources told the media outlet that over the next six months Pyongyang was expected to actively engage in negotiations with Washington, Beijing and Seoul, and that is why North Korean officials were sent to various Swiss cities to find potential venues for talks.

    The situation on the Korean Peninsula has stabilized within the last several months, with the North Korean leader having held two rounds of talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and a top-level summit with Donald Trump.

    On Thursday, US President Donald Trump said he was getting along well with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un and expected him to get rid of nuclear weapons. Tump also said that his North Korea policy could never cause a war in the Korean peninsula and accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of putting millions at risk in the South when he chose confrontation with Pyongyang over dialogue.

    Tags:
    thaw, denuclearization, Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States
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