Meanwhile, sanctions are still in place while North Korea presses South Korea for a formal end to the Korean War.
In late July, North Korea transferred the remains of 55 U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War, in keeping with the agreement made in Singapore signed by Chairman Kim Jong-un at the historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Now, forensic analysis has shown that the remains are “consistent” with being American service members.
Location information accompanying the boxes suggested most of the remains are those of U.S. Army soldiers who fought in the famous 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir.
Conclusions that the human remains were likely Americans from the Korean War was based on their state of preservation, as well as Korean War-era materials in some boxes that included boots, canteens, buckles, and buttons, according to Dr. John Byrd, the DPAA’s chief scientist who reviewed the contents of the boxes in North Korea.
“Everything we saw was consistent with these remains, indeed, being from the Korean War, and consistent with these remains being good candidates to be missing Americans from the Korean War,” said Byrd.
Byrd also indicated that the North Koreans have been cooperative during this process.
“The North Korean officials that we spoke to were very forthcoming and candid with us and a couple of things they told us was that these were remains believed to be American and from the Korean War,” Byrd told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday.
“They also, though, were clear with us that they couldn’t be sure with how many individuals were represented in each box,” Byrd added.
More news from the Korean Peninsula this week shows that the United States is still keeping the economic heat on North Korea.
The Treasury Department slapped sanctions on a Russian bank on Friday, accusing it of processing transactions for North Korea in violation of United Nations sanctions.
Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank knowingly facilitated “a significant transaction” on behalf of a person affiliated with North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction, the agency said in a statement.
The individual was named as Han Jang Su, the Moscow-based chief representative of North Korea’s primary foreign exchange bank, the Foreign Trade Bank.
The statement also detailed a long relationship between the Russian bank and North Korea. The bank held, processed and transferred millions of dollars for North Korea, despite sanctions which are meant to isolate it economically.
These sanctions are really to harsh the #FakeNews narrative that Trump is Putin’s stooge.
In other news, a letter delivered to Trump from Chairman Kim indicates that there may be further movement in toward both parties going forward with their mutual commitments as outlined in the Singapore agreement.
U.S. President Donald Trump thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Thursday, after receiving a “nice letter” from him. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the correspondence was “aimed at following up on the meeting in Singapore” and “advancing the commitments made” in the leaders’ joint statement, where North Korea pledged complete denuclearization.
…The letters are seen as a sign that trust between the leaders has not collapsed.
“It goes to show trust between the leaders, and trust is needed for the next steps to be taken in denuclearization and in improving relations,” a foreign ministry official said.
Meanwhile, at an Asian security forum, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicates that the United States remains ”confident” in North Korea’s commitment to denuclearize.
‘We’re confident that Chairman Kim remains committed to denuclearization,” he said. ”The world is counting on it.”
He said United Nations sanctions ”will remain in place until we have full denuclearization in North Korea. So no matter how much progress we make, those sanctions will remain in place.”
Finally, North Korea is pressing South Korea to formally declare an end to the war, which was one of the goals of an agreement signed by representatives of both countries in April of this war and is called the Panmunjom Declaration.
A remark made by a Southern Korean official regarding North Korea’s pressing them for peace was interesting:
The Ministry of Unification said Seoul will continue working to narrow the differences between Washington and Pyongyang to declare an end to the war by the end of the year.
“The two Koreas are on track to fulfill the Panmunjeom Declaration by establishing bilateral trust,” ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun said in a media briefing Monday.
That declaration includes a goal of denuclearizing of the Korean Peninsula.DONATE
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