Donald Trump posted a Twitter message on Thursday in which he lauded a “very nice note” from Kim Jong Un, in which the North Korean dictator refers to Trump as “Your Excellency.” In his Twitter message, Trump said that the note showed “great progress being made” in talks with North Korea.
Also on Thursday, however, North Korean envoys simply ghosted United States negotiators who showed up at the heavily guarded demarcation line between North and South Korea, where the two sides had scheduled a meeting to arrange the return of remains of American military personnel killed in the Korean War, which ended 65 years ago, according to a Bloomberg News report.
On June 20, according to a Reuters report, Trump announced that the remains of 200 U.S. military members who had been missing since the end of the war had “already” been returned since Trump’s June 12 face-to-face meeting with Kim in Singapore.
“We got back our great fallen heroes, the remains sent back today, already 200 got sent back,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Minnesota, Reuters reported.
But at that time there was no confirmation that any remains had been returned. And on Thursday, North Korean officials left U.S. negotiators standing alone at the planned meeting to discuss the return of remains. The meeting has supposedly been rescheduled for July 15, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.
In fact, the U.S. Defense Department estimates that Korea holds the remains of only about 200 U.S. personnel from the war, meaning that if Trump had been telling the truth on June 20, all remains would have been returned.
At that June 12 meeting between Trump and Kim, Trump has claimed that North Korea committed to “denuclearize,” though a one-page document signed by Trump and Kim said only that both sides committed to “work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” as Inquisitr reported, wording that North Korea interprets to include the United States removing its own nuclear “umbrella” of protection for South Korea and Japan, The New York Times reports.
But satellite images soon showed that North Korea was actually upgrading, not dismantling, its nuclear facilities, as noted in a separate Inquisitr report.
Despite the evidence that Kim was allegedly deceiving Trump, the U.S. leader said that he has “confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed,” as Inquisitr noted, though the one-page document was not in any legal sense a contract, experts say.
In the note made public by Trump on Thursday, Kim writes that he appreciates Trump’s “energetic and extraordinary efforts” to carry out “faithful implementation of the joint statement,” The Daily Beast reported. In the brief, four-paragraph note, Kim refers to Trump as “Your Excellency” on five occasions, as CNN reported.
Also on Thursday, the U.S. accused North Korea of violating United Nations sanctions that place a cap on the rogue nation’s imports of fuel, Reuters reported. The U.S. did not specify which countries were selling fuel to North Korea in breach of the sanctions — but in December, Reuters reported that Russia was supplying North Korea with fuel in excess of the cap put in place by the sanctions.