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North Korea to transfer remains of US soldiers from Korean War on Friday: Yonhap

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North Korea will transfer the remains of an unspecified number of soldiers killed in the Korean War on Friday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, after accepting about 100 wooden caskets sent by the United States.

The repatriation of remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War was one of the agreements reached during a landmark summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12.

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U.S. Forces Korea said later last month they had moved 100 wooden temporary transit cases into the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas to receive and transport the remains.

Yonhap, citing an unidentified diplomatic source, said on Thursday North Korea had accepted the caskets, which were carried in two trucks, and was expected to transfer the remains on Friday.

The planned transfer would coincide with the 65th anniversary of the 1953 armistice agreement that ended fighting.

A U.S. military transport plane was set to fly to an airfield in North Korea’s northeastern city of Wonsan to accept the remains, Yonhap reported. They would then be flown to Hawaii after an initial DNA analysis at Osan air base in South Korea.

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CNN, citing a U.S. official, reported earlier this week that Washington expects to receive an initial 55 sets of remains and planned to send officials to North Korea to open and photograph each casket as part of a “cursory review” of what the North Koreans turned over.

U.S. forensic specialists in Osan would then conduct a more in-depth assessment of the remains and any military uniforms, identification tags or documentation, a process that could take up to five days, followed by a formal military ceremony at the airfield. The remains would then be flown to a U.S. military laboratory in Hawaii for DNA analysis, CNN reported.

South Korea President Moon Jae-in said during a meeting with new U.S. Ambassador Harry Harris on Wednesday that a transfer of the remains would boost the momentum for nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington.

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Kim and Trump agreed to work toward denuclearisation at their Singapore summit but there has been no sign of a concrete agreement on how to achieve that goal.

Harris said the transfer, as well as the North’s perceived closing of a missile engine testing site, would be an “important sign” to show Kim’s sincerity about denuclearisation, Moon’s office said.

Recent reports that North Korea had started dismantling a rocket test site are consistent with a commitment made by Kim at the summit but it must go further and fully denuclearize, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.

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Reporting by Joyce Lee; Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Paul Tait

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump has been ‘insulated’ by his wealth to never have to learn from his mistakes: biographer

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President Donald Trump's inherited wealth has meant he's never had to learn from his mistakes, Trump biographer Tim O'Brien told MSNBC's Brian Williams on Thursday.

"Bloomberg Opinion writer and our next guest Tim O’Brien writes today, 'Yes, of course, you need a certain kind of appalling narcissism to be comfy promoting yourself as heaven-sent in a televised press briefing and as a deity on Twitter. It’s doubly unhinged when you’re doing this as president,'" Williams said. "He goes on 'The Trump of the past few weeks is the same disordered figure of the past several decades with, I suspect, a big dollop of something new blended in: unbridled and unmanageable panic.'"

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‘Both Putin and Xi will be voting Trump in 2020’: NYT columnist says Russia and China want ‘turmoil and chaos’

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The Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China are both rooting for President Donald Trump to win re-election in 2020, a New York Times columnist argued on MSNBC on Thursday.

Thomas Friedman was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on "The Last Word."

"What do we know about how the leaders of other countries see Donald Trump at this stage in their dealings with him?" O'Donnell asked. "Especially this weekend, when it comes at the end of a week in which they’ve heard him call himself the King of Israel, they have heard him say he is The Chosen One. They have heard all the crazy things that everyone here has heard the president say."

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Trump is ‘not a stable genius’: GOP strategist says the president ‘doesn’t remember who and where he is’

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President Donald Trump's mental fitness is lacking, a top Republican strategist explained on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Rick Wilson, the author of the 2018 bestselling book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever, blasted the commander-in-chief.

"Rick Wilson, your assessment of where the president stands as he heads off to the G7 summit?" O'Donnell asked.

"I think Donald Trump has had a week in which he is proving that this isn’t 87-dimensional chess game, this isn't some masterful strategy of communications or persuasion," Wilson replied. "This is an old man who is sick and who has problems and who has mental disconnects and who has aphasias and who has moments where he doesn’t remember who and where he is."

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