North Korea fails to attend talks on repatriation of U.S. war dead

S. Korea approves rare screening of N. Korea films

The US military has since announced that 100 wooden coffins have been moved to the inter-Korean border in preparation.

South Korea's urbanization is one reason why more than a 1,000 US service members are unaccounted for, said McKeague.

The two countries technically remain in conflict after the 1950-53 Korean War ended without a peace treaty, and all cross-border civilian contact - including trips, letters, or emails - are banned unless endorsed by both governments.

Pompeo underscored the importance he places on the issue earlier this week when he tweeted that North Korea had committed to repatriating remains. The Pentagon confirmed this following President Trump's declaration at a speech that week that "we got back our great fallen heroes, the remains sent back today, already 200 got sent back". Identities would not be confirmed until after what is often a lengthy and complicated forensics process.

According to media reports, the US military sent wooden cases to which the remains of soldiers will be transferred at the border.

Critics at the time also argued the North was using the program to extort money from Washington, prompting the label "bones for bucks".

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The last return of U.S. remains between 1990 and 1995 involved just over 200 caskets.

The letter comes days after the North Korean Foreign Ministry released a statement accusing the US of "ganster-like" demands and trying to unilaterally pressure the country into abandoning its nuclear weapons.

President Trump posted Kim's personal letter on social media Thursday, saying he just received a "very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea".

"Repatriation of US remains from North Korea will be important not just to American families, but to building trust between the USA and North Korea as well", Pompeo said earlier this week. Kim praises the significance of their meeting and the joint statement they put out, but the letter doesn't do much to support Trump's claim that progress is being made in his stated goal of denuclearizing North Korea.

It had been expected at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom.

Guarded by North Korean soldiers, Byrd said they were careful to avoid arguments that could halt their work. Add North Korea as an interest to stay up to date on the latest North Korea news, video, and analysis from ABC News. "We're not going to be sidelined or sidetracked".

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