New N. Korea missiles unlikely to doom talks, experts say

A satellite image shows the Sanumdong missile production site in North Korea

Kim Jon Un

The website 38 North, dedicated to looking at security policy issues concerning North Korea, did note a positive step last week when satellite imagery indicated that North Korea had begun dismantling some structures at the Sohae satellite launching station, the site from which North Korea has previously launched satellites as well as conducted engine tests for ICBMs.

There was activity at the Sanumdong site before President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during which the two leaders discussed the future of the latter's nuclear weapons program.

Relations between the United States and North Korea appeared cordial recently, after Kim sent the remains of USA troops who died during the Korean War.

He also confirmed a single military dog tag was provided with the remains and that the family of that soldier has been notified. Duus said the DPAA is still working to identify remains it received in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The Trump administration downplayed reports Tuesday that North Korea is engaged in a flurry of new intercontinental ballistic missile activity, asserting the activity has not undermined President Trump's high-stakes diplomatic outreach to Pyongyang.

The North Koreans provided enough specifics about where each suspected body was found that US officials have matched them to specific battles fought from 1950 to 1951, though not necessarily individuals, he said. And it is foolish to expect that they would do so - at the outset of talks, he said. According to the Associated Press, the boxes contain "a single military dog tag but no other information that could help USA forensics experts determine their individual identities".

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Still, the initial "field forensic review" indicates that the "remains are what North Korea said they were", Byrd said.

The last time USA military men or women were on the ground to teach for remains was 2005.

Some 5,300 of those are believed to have been lost in North Korea, which is separated from the South by one of the world's most fortified borders.

Pompeo assured lawmakers that the United States was working toward finding a solution without easing its sanctions against North Korea, but also admitted during his testimony that it was "continuing to create fissile material".

The 55 boxes, draped in the blue and white flag of the United Nations, are each small enough to be carried in one person's arms.

The purported remains of Americans who died in the Korean War are on their way to Hawaii, where they'll be analyzed in hopes of providing a new sense of closure for families who lost loved ones in the war that ended with a cease-fire in 1953.

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She also said the visit aimed to strengthen Indonesia's "long and historical relationship" with North Korea, forged decades ago by the two nations' respective founding fathers, Sukarno and Kim Il-sung.

Kim handed over more than 55 boxes carrying remains of USA soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War on Friday. But North Korea only provided one dog tag with the 55 boxes it handed over last week.

The lab will then set about trying to match any American remains with the identities of MIA personnel.

Bruce Bennett, a senior Rand Corporation researcher, said North Korea's recent moves are a way pressuring Washington for sanctions concessions. Secretary of State Pompeo acknowledged last week in Senate testimony that North Korean factories "continue to produce fissile material" used in making nuclear weapons.

Denyer reported from Tokyo.

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