July 26, 2018

Now North Korea has returned US remains, the next move is on Trump

Featuring Duyeon Kim

Source: CNN

Journalist Jamie Tarabay

It's one of the four points listed in the joint statement US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un signed on June 12, the day of their historic meeting in Singapore.

"The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified," the document noted, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

On Friday, the anniversary of the signing of another historic document -- the armistice that ended the Korean War -- North Korea handed over 55 sets of remains of what are believed to be American war dead.

The gesture has nothing to do with demands North Korea denuclearize, yet Pyongyang will consider its completion part of the deal that now puts the onus on Trump to begin alleviating some of North Korea's economic and diplomatic pain.

"We are right where North Korea wants us to be," said Duyeon Kim, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

"My concern is that once the remains are returned, which they should be, that the North's demands will just increase because they could claim that they've finished half of the Singapore bargain," she said.

The other requirement of North Korea, according to the document, is to work to denuclearize and the administration has repeatedly stated that Pyongyang must complete that process before sanctions are lifted, a point Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reinforced at the United Nations last week. With the recent dismantling of test sites, Pyongyang could argue it on its way to doing just that.

Read the full article and more on CNN.

  • Duyeon Kim

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Asia-Pacific Security Program

    Duyeon Kim is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Her expertise includes the two Koreas, nuclear ...