Trump Seeks Recovery of US Military Remains in North Korea

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This is an OZY Special Briefing, an extension of the Presidential Daily Brief. You never know in this world.

In this picture taken on June 12, 2018 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on June 13, 2018, US President Donald Trump (R) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) walk to attend their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore.

"This epoch-making summit reflects the strong commitment of the two leaders to achieve sustained peace, stability and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula with denuclearisation as the key step", a ministry press release said.

Yun Duk-min of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul said the promises made at Tuesday's summit did little to advance previous agreements between the USA and the North over the latter's disarmament-which Pyongyang had backed out of in the past-and even "lacked verification details" included in those deals.

Why does it matter?

Between 1950 and 1953, during the Korean War, 35,000 American soldiers died and 7,700 are still listed as missing in action. The 400-word statement followed more than four hours of talks, and the two men, The Telegraph noted, displayed warm body language toward each other.

China, North Korea's main ally, accounts for more than 90 percent of the isolated country's trade, and China's participation is widely seen as crucial for worldwide sanctions to have any bite.

"China is very concerned about the USA making use of North Korea as a strategic balancer in this region to hedge against the rise of China".

"A few months ago people were talking about war - a military strike", said Counselor Yu Dunhai of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. The next drills were planned for late August. His description of the drills as "provocative", gave the impression that he was distancing himself from the US and South Korea's stance that they are "defensive in nature".

The president's suspension of the exercises came as U.S. Forces-Korea, led by Army Gen. Vincent Brooks, is preparing for the annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercises later this summer with the South Koreans. That would allow North Korea's main trading partner to resume full economic activity with the nation, thereby avoiding the Hermit Kingdom's potential collapse.

How the Trump-Kim summit is playing in North Korea
But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea's swift denuclearisation. Mr Kim's selfie comes as part of a wider trend of world leaders getting in on the act.

Some experts say a step-by-step denuclearization process is a ploy to win concessions while delaying disarmament.

Trump's announcement of the military exercise freeze took bot the Pentagon and South Korea by surprise. Trump's labeling the USA military presence "provocative" - employing the language China has long used - will also be cheered in Beijing.

The remarks were made by foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a briefing in Beijing after Foreign Minister Wang Yi praised the summit - the first between a North Korean leader and a sitting U.S. president - as "creating a new history".

Now there are atleast 13 internationally recognized economic sanctions against trade, investment and transactions with North Korean government or citizens in effect.

"In coming weeks, China will need to find a way back into the center of the negotiations, or risk being left out of the Trump-Kim bromance".

"We find it unlikely there will be any other impact on the dry bulk market in the near term", said William Tooth, analyst at Maritime Strategies International.

According to analysts, Kim may seek to do this by offering Trump some sort of deal, which would probably include some pledge to scrap his nuclear arsenal in exchange for American help to reduce or even eliminate North Korea's near total dependence on China. War veterans hope so, By Minnie Chan, Robert Delaney and Lee Jeong-ho at the South China Morning Post. "The top priority for China then becomes how to make sure North Korea has a closer relationship with China than the United States", says Dr Tong. It's an illustration that ...

A bridge in China's Dandong city connecting the country to North Korea once bustled with trade.

"They have great beaches". "These exercises are important to countering China's regional aggression, in addition to Kim Jong-un's hostility".

The head of the UN's nuclear watchdog also welcomed the statement issued by Mr Trump and Mr Kim at the end of their summit.

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