New N. Korea missiles unlikely to doom talks, experts say

Kim Jong Un waves before departing Pyongyang to Singapore

The United Nations Command repatriated 55 cases of soldier remains returned by North Korea last Thursday.

Pence, the son of a decorated Korean War veteran, called the returns a "historic occasion" and an accomplishment for President Donald Trump, "whose leadership and compassion brought this day about".

But some independent analysts think the Trump administration has misread Kim's intentions, interpreting his commitment to eventual denuclearization as a promise to immediately surrender the country's nuclear arsenal and dismantle its weapons factories.

In a report dated July 28, 2017, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency estimated that the North possesses as many as 60 nuclear weapons, but Monday's report said that intelligence agencies had in recent months increased their estimates of the size of the arsenal, taking into account enriched uranium from at least one secret enrichment site. About 5,300 were lost in what is now North Korea.

The foreign ministers from all nations involved in stalled "six-party" negotiations with North Korea aimed at reining in Pyongyang's nuclear programme will be at the gathering: the US, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea.

Vice President Pence will take part in an Honorable Carry Ceremony for the remains when they arrive on Wednesday.

The DPAA Laboratory at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, is the first USA stop for the recently returned remains.

Intelligence reports also state that North Korean officials intend to "deceive Washington about the number of nuclear warheads and missiles" and to also fool global inspectors while hiding some of their facilities.

Many analysts and independent experts, however, see that dismantling as largely symbolic, since North Korea has now successfully launched ICBMs that use the kind of liquid-fueled engines tested at Sohae.

Officials say USA spy agencies, citing evidence including recent satellite photos, have spotted signs that the North is building new intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to the Washington Post.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on a tour of Asian capitals this week, in part to urge countries to keep the sanctions pressure on North Korea in order to push the denuclearization process along.

The State Department said the administration still believes Mr. Kim was honest in his commitment to move toward abandoning his country's nuclear weapons when he met in early June with Mr. Trump in Singapore.

The remains returned to US soil are part of a deal struck between President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to visit OH to campaign in special House election CNN's Acosta: I'm anxious Trump's rhetoric toward media "will result in somebody getting hurt" Trump shares son's tweet backing supporters chanting "CNN sucks" MORE and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

North Korea is also reportedly still secretly operating the Kangson uranium-enrichment facility.

American officials have repeatedly stated that they will offer no sanctions relief to North Korea until the country completely, irreversibly ends its illegal nuclear weapons program.

The remains of American soldiers handed over last week by North Korea are on their way to Hawaii now to be identified through DNA testing.

DPAA deputy director Rear Admiral Jon Kreitz said he saw the remains transfer as an important step that will lead to more recovery operations in North Korea.

In another story published Wednesday, the state newspaper argued that "a new mode of thinking" is necessary in the government of Seoul to understand and accept that North Korea will not change.

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