Pyongyang refuses to show up at war remains talks

"We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea".

Caskets that the USA shipped to the border last month haven't been filled, despite Kim Jong Un's pledge during his June 12 summit with President Donald Trump to immediately repatriate identified remains.

Pompeo characterized the talks as progressive, asserting that North Korea did not "push back" on denuclearization.

USA officials and experts have said the shift in attitude was to be expected as the North Koreans are known for brinkmanship and trying to up the ante ahead of tough negotiations over their nuclear missile program.

The news agency noted that the request followed North Koreans not showing up to the meeting with USA representatives.

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State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters in Tokyo on Saturday that the only thing Pompeo left behind in Pyongyang was a letter from Trump to Kim.

An estimated 30,000 U.S. soldiers died in the 1950-53 Korean war. Kim is reportedly eyeing Switzerland as a potential venue for a second meeting, with North Korean diplomats sent to Bern, Davos, and Geneva last week to scope out hotels and conference centers, Kyodo reported.

U.S. negotiators arrived Thursday at the militarized border between the two Koreas as previously announced by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and were kept waiting, the Yonhap News Agency reported, citing diplomatic officials it didn't identify.

Despite the apparent snub and worsening relations with North Korea, Donald Trump tweeted on Monday he has "confidence" that Mr Kim would honour the denuclearisation "contract" they signed at the Singapore summit.

North Korea's failure to show up to the meeting follows a tempestuous week in the ongoing denuclearization talks with Washington.

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Trump also announced that the USA would suspend "war games" with South Korea.

While lacking in specifics about the status of diplomatic talks between the United States and North Korea, Kim's letter lavishes praise on Trump, repeatedly referring to the President as "Your Excellency".

In the meantime, satellite images of a missile-manufacturing facility in the city of Hamhung showed North Korea is expanding its ballistic weapons program.

The agency also says that North Korean officials have indicated they have "as many as 200 sets of remains" already recovered that could be ready for return.

However, recovery efforts were suspended when the relationship between both countries worsened, as the North began the advancement of its nuclear programme.

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