Scrapped drill with South Korea would have cost US$14m: Pentagon

Scrapped drill with South Korea would have cost US$14m: Pentagon

"It takes anywhere from a few months to, in many cases, years, before we can make an identification", Kelly McKeague, head of the USA agency that tracks down remains of USA soldiers lost on foreign battlefields, said in an interview.

US President Donald Trump said today that he has a "little gift" for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but wouldn't reveal what it is.

However, officials say it could be months before excavations can begin and years until the remains are identified.

Seoul's presidential office has said the suspension of the combined exercise could facilitate ongoing nuclear talks between North Korea and the United States.

On Tuesday, North Korean state media published several reports about Kim's visit to a rural area near the Chinese border where he provided "field guidance" to potato farmers. His top deputy, who took the meeting in Kim's absence, said his boss was out of town without revealing what was more important than a sit-down with the top USA diplomat. The U.S. Embassy in Seoul said it had no immediate information.

Pompeo's reception in Pyongyang last week was chillier than during his previous two trips to the North Korean capital and he didn't meet with Kim Jong Un.

Much progress has been made compared to 20 years ago but "significant humanitarian challenges" remain, Lowcock said.

Suspension of the joint military drills is often viewed as a way to assuage North Korea's concerns over its regime security in return for abandoning nukes.

33 fires break out in Israeli Gaza-border communities by incendiary kites
In previous retaliatory measures, Israel struck targets belonging to Hamas , blaming the group for the launching of the kites. Human rights groups have accused Israeli troops of using excessive force. "What's needed is pressure on worldwide community".

But Trump tweeted Monday that he has "confidence" that Kim would honour the denuclearisation "contract" they signed at the summit and accused China - the isolated North's powerful neighbour and ally - of seeking to undermine the deal.

"Denuclearization will be next used as a bargaining chip and guarantee for North Korea to negotiate for [future] economic incomes".

According to a South Korean newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, Trump's decision to give Kim the CD comes after a conversation the two leaders had over lunch during their summit in June.

Other speculation is that North Korea was discomforted with the way it was portrayed by the USA media _ as trying to make money from the war remains.

DPAA investigators face a narrow weather window in North Korea, where the ground is soft enough for digging from mid-March to late September, and rains can stop work in June and August.

But Kim did agree to bring back the bodies.

What Pyongyang really wants is a four-party meeting with South Korea, China and the United States, the professor said. It remains skeptical of the U.S. To Kim, he will be under a lot of pressure shall he next meet one-on-one with Trump.

Trump has claimed the USA pays far too much of NATO's defense budget while other members fail to meet the agreed 2 percent of gross domestic product.

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