Trump hails progress after receiving note from North Korea's Kim

Foreign ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said, "The government hopes the agreements reached between leaders at the North Korea-U.S. summit, including the repatriation of Korean War remains, will be swiftly carried out as a means to fulfill the goal of complete denuclearization and establishment of a peace system on the Korean Peninsula".

An agreement to return the remains of USA service members was touted by the Trump administration as one of the commitments secured during the president's historic summit with Kim on 12 June.

According to the Pentagon, North Korean officials have indicated in the past that they have the remains of as many as 200 United States troops. USA intelligence analysts said in the wake of the summit that Pyongyang is working to hide key elements of its program, including the number of weapons it maintains and secret production facilities.

The letter was dated just one day before North Korea accused the USA of "gangster-like" demands following a visit and talks by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

While recovering the war dead would provide Trump a political victory similar to Kim's May release of three American detainees, it would do little to advance the goal of dismantling the regime's weapons program. Although Pompeo insisted progress continued to be made, North Korea accused the U.S. of making "gangster-like" demands.

The agreement on the return of remains of Americans believed to have been lost on the North Korean side of the border during the 1950-53 war, "including the immediate repatriation of those already identified", was the only concrete commitment on the four-point summit declaration.

There are about 7,700 U.S. soldiers classified as missing in action from the war.

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North Korea accused the United States on Saturday of making "gangster-like" demands in the talks in North Korea, contradicting Pompeo who said the old enemies had made progress.

Trump agreed to halt bi-annual USA military exercises conducted with South Korean forces, while Kim made a vague commitment to denuclearization.

"Most important, instead of any hint of criticism of President Trump, the statement ends on a positive note: 'We still cherish our good faith in President Trump, ' underlining that the problem is not the President but rather 'headwind against the wills of the two top leaders...,'" he highlighted.

Between 1996 and 2005, some 33 recovery operations were conducted in North Korea which saw 200 sets of remains returned.

One problem - no North Korean officials showed up, The New York Times reported.

Despite that, Trump hailed the July 6 letter as a "very nice note", saying "Great progress being made".

Mount said Trump's reaction would be a concern.

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