White House Unhappy With Pompeo-North Korea Visit

While the details are unclear, a failure to meet on the issue wouldn't bode well for broader negotiations about North Korea's nuclear program.

Warner highlighted the June 12 summit document from Mr. Trump and Kim in which Kim reaffirmed his commitment towards complete denuclearization, Pompeo's comment earlier this week that the USA had "detailed, substantive" conversations about total denuclearization, and Mr. Trump's tweet after the summit in Singapore declaring "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea".

However, officials say it could be months before excavations can begin and years until the remains are identified.

On Weibo, China's twitter-like microblogging platform, one user asked "why is the U.S. - a country so far away - keeping an eye on the North Korea's denuclearization progress?"

North Korean authorities are stepping up anti-South Korea lectures following the inter-Korea basketball tournament in Pyongyang last week, according to a South Korean press report, but ordinary North Koreans are not persuaded by the propaganda. North Korean officials have said they have identified the remains of about 200 United States soldiers, so it's unclear why North Korea would still be meeting if it had returned the bodies.

Accusations from US politicians, however, have triggered nationalistic sentiment among Chinese netizens.

Trump's remarks, which he made in a brief exchange with reporters before departing on a week-long trip to Europe, follow a report last week by a South Korean newspaper that Trump had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to deliver a copy of the CD to Kim during a trip to Pyongyang last week.

The Trump administration has insisted that progress is being made.

It would be the first such repatriation in more than a decade after a joint search effort was halted amid rising tensions over the North's nuclear weapons program. Sending the bodies back would demonstrate that North Korea can be trusted to some degree, and cost Pyongyang nothing in terms of military posture.

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The president went so far as to claim his summit with Kim garnered more media attention than even the Oscars, according to The Washington Post on Thursday citing an unnamed official with knowledge of the dinner in Brussels.

Kim did not meet with the secretary of State.

McKeague said no new remains had been returned since the Trump-Kim talks.

If the agency does return to North Korea, he said cooperation will be key. The two held a historic summit in Singapore on June 12.

Trump later added on Twitter that the decision would "save a fortune".

According to estimates from the Pentagon, 7,700 USA troops are still unaccounted for from the Korean War.

DPAA investigators face a narrow weather window in North Korea, where the ground is soft enough for digging from mid-March to late September, and rains can stop work in June and August.

Trump told reporters Tuesday that he might have another gift for Kim as well.

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