White House: North Korea still a threat to US

Clay Curtis
June 23, 2018

United States President Donald Trump cited an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to American national security as he maintained long-standing economic restrictions on North Korea, including the freezing of any assets in Washington, a media report said.

After President Donald Trump held a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un - a meeting that was by most accounts a dismal failure of strategy- he made a bold declaration that was surprising, even for him. "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju walk upon arriving in Beijing, China, in this undated photo released June 20, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency.

"Following achievements made in the US-North Korea summit, we will halt drills involving residents for the time being", Yoshihide Suga told reporters, confirming earlier reports.

The Trump administration issued what was a routine notice to Congress describing the threat to justify keeping sanctions on North Korea in place.

Has Trump changed his tone on North Korea?

North Korean soldiers carry a coffin believed to contain the remains of a US soldier to the border with South Korea during repatriation ceremonies at the truce village of Panmunjom, South Korea, October 9, 1998.

The official said it was hard to tell exactly how many would be USA troops as they would require forensic testing to determine their identity.

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Trump's decision to cancel joint U.S. South Korea still has more than 120,000 troops that are unaccounted for.

The U.S. insistence on the complete denuclearization of North Korea could work against America's interests as political pressure mounts to make rapid progress, analysts say.

A USA official said on Wednesday that the site Trump referred to then was the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, a major facility in the western part of the country that has been used for testing engines for long-range missiles.

The Pentagon said the goal was to support diplomatic negotiations.

Souvenir shops that once stocked items criticising the U.S. aimed at North Korea tourists near the demilitarised zone (DMZ) on the Korean border, as well as in the capital Pyongyang, have removed the often violent and negative stock. "But we have to get him to keep it tough", Trump said.

There was no official confirmation or denial of the president's claim.

Two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that while North Korea was expected to return the remains of soldiers in coming days, they had not yet been returned.

Trump said on Wednesday the remains of 200 American servicemen had already been sent back, following on from the agreement he reached with Kim in Singapore.

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