Spy agencies suspect North Korea building new missiles

Posted August 02, 2018

Two family members of Americans missing in action in North Korea during the Korean War, Diana Brown Sanfilippo and Rick Downes, also flew with the Vice President on Air Force Two for the event.

A repatriation ceremony for the remains is set for Wednesday.

North and South Korea yesterday held military talks to build trust, while the USA detected renewed activity at a North Korean missile factory, casting more suspicion over Pyongyang's intentions.

Byrd said they believe they're American because "there was a lot of military hardware, helmets, canteens. the same kinds of things that we find when we excavate" such sites in South and North Korea. I just think that we are now we are going to start the process of denuclearization of North Korea, and I believe that he's going back and will start it virtually immediately, and he's already indicated that and you look at what he's done.

The remains were then moved in gray vans to an airfield where US and South Korean soldiers loaded them one by one into transport planes.

The remains had been transferred from the small boxes they arrived in on Friday into full-sized caskets, draped with United Nations flags.

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"It could take months, or even years to identify them", the defense official said.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Pyongyang included only one military dog tag with the 55 boxes of remains.

He said officials have been in touch with the family of the service member referenced in the identifying tag, known as a dog tag, and emphasised that it was too early to confirm if that identity matched accompanying remains.

Why are USA remains in North Korea?

About 7,700 USA soldiers are listed as missing from the 1950-53 Korean War and about 5,300 of the remains are believed to still be in North Korea.

Melissa Hanham, a North Korea expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, tells the BBC that satellite images show there has been "regular traffic in and out of the building" at the Sanumdong facility-and the pattern didn't change throughout peace talks in Singapore and the DMZ. There were estimated 5,300 Americans who did not return home from the conflict.

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At the recent United States-Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Summit, President Trump and Kim Jong Un signed the Sentosa Agreement, which included a commitment to recover remains from the DPRK and return them to the USA, where they will be identified. Trump thanked Kim for the return.

On July 27, North Korea returned the remains of USA soldiers killed in the Korean War (1950-1953) for the first time in 11 years, a decision warmly welcomed by Washington.

During a historic summit with Trump in June, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to "work toward" the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

An organisation representing Dutch veterans who fought in North Korea has asked prime minister Mark Rutte to do his best to recover the bodies of five Dutch soldiers who died in the country in the 1950s.

Bruce Bennett, a senior Rand Corporation researcher, said North Korea's recent moves are a way pressuring Washington for sanctions concessions.

An image taken on July 7 showed a bright-red covered trailer in a loading area that appears to be identical to those vehicles the country has previously used to transport ICBMs. But many experts say those are neither irrevocable nor serious steps that could show the country is honest about denuclearization.

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According to the Washington Post, U.S. spy agencies are seeing signs that North Korea is constructing new missiles at a factory that produced the country's first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.