North Korea has begun to return remains of US troops missing in Korean war, says Trump

US President Donald Trump said that he "signed a deal where (the US) gets everything".
US President Donald Trump said that he "signed a deal where (the US) gets everything".PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump said on Friday (June 15) North Korea is already fulfilling its promise to return the remains of missing US troops from the Korean War, only days after his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, reported the Associated Press.

Mr Trump added that he "signed a deal where (the US) gets everything".

He told reporters in a news conference on the White House lawn he plans to call Mr Kim on Sunday (June 17).  

“I’m going to be actually calling North Korea,” Trump told Fox News in an interview when asked what he planned to do on Father’s Day.  The president later said he had given Mr Kim a direct phone number through which the North Korean leader could reach him.

“He can now call me if he has any difficulties, I can call him,” Trump said. 

Mr Trump also said halting the joint military exercises between US and South Korea troops was his idea and would save the country money.  He said he made the offer to Mr Kim on his own, without the latter requesting it. 

“I said I’d like to halt it,” Mr Trump said. “I saved a lot of money.” 

Mr Trump and Mr Kim issued a joint statement after their meeting in Singapore on June 12 that reaffirmed the North’s commitment to “work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”, while Mr Trump “committed to provide security guarantees”. 

Mr Trump later told a news conference he would end “expensive, provocative” war games with South Korea. 

About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty that left the two Koreas technically still at war.

He claimed on Friday he has “largely solved” the North Korean nuclear weapons programme problem, which he said his predecessor Barack Obama told him before he took office was “most dangerous problem” for the United States. 

“I have solved that problem,” Mr Trump said. “That problem is largely solved.” 

Democratic critics in the United States said the Trump-Kim agreement was short on detail and the Republican president had made too many concessions to Kim, whose country is under United Nations sanctions for its nuclear and weapons programs and is widely condemned for human rights abuses.

Asked why he was defending North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's human rights records, Mr Trump replied: "You know why? Because I don't want to see a nuclear weapon destroy you and your family."