North Korea to start moving remains of United States soldiers in coming weeks

19 July, 2018, 15:42 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • S. Korean Pro Unification Group Visits N. Korea

This meeting was the first between the UNC and the North Korea's military in nine years and four months.

Analysts also speculate that the amnesty slated for August 1 is aimed at boosting the people's loyalty and trust for the leader.

The pardon, which will take effect on August 1, will come three years since the last pardon in 2015 that marked the 70th anniversary of the North's ruling political party and of Korean independence from Japan's colonial rule from 1910 to 1945.

"Field guidance" visits by the leader are the mainstay of the North's state media output, with Kim regularly shown giving "on-the-spot guidance" to attentive officials, their notebooks in hand.

It said many of those held are imprisoned without trial or any kind of due process, adding that beatings and sexual abuse of prisoners were commonplace.

Kim Jong-un made a promise to his people when he took power in 2011. But "it remains to be seen if those included will be political prisoners".

Returning the remains of the US soldiers who perished during the 1950-53 conflict was part of a deal signed by the North's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump during their landmark summit last month.

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Specific details on the result of the meeting are yet to be disclosed. The multinational but U.S. -led U.N. Command was formed during the Korean War and now helps maintain the armistice on the peninsula.

Quintana had said that not talking about rights would eventually become "a problem in terms of building a sustainable agreement" on denuclearization.

U.S. and North Korean officials held "productive" talks Sunday to discuss the return of U.S. service members' remains missing since the Korean War, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. But a US military official familiar with the matter said last month it was not clear what North Korea might hand over.

About 33,000 US soldiers are estimated to have died in the Korean War, with more than 8,000 still missing.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency, citing South Korean government and USA military sources, said the negotiations had begun at 0100 GMT at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas.

The latest amnesty plan appears aimed at consolidating social unity on the occasion of the landmark founding anniversary and boosting the people's loyalty for Kim amid a changing environment after the North-U.S. summit talks in June, analysts say. His North Korean counterpart is known to be a lieutenant general, equivalent to a USA major general, from the Korean People's Army.

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