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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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MSNBC’s Morning Joe reveals one constitutional change that must be made if US survives Trump

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough busted Attorney General William Barr for spreading the same lies about the FBI that Roy Cohn used to help Donald Trump and his father out of a racism jam.

The attorney general told NBC News reporter Pete Williams that the FBI had spied on Trump's 2016 campaign, although a court approved surveillance warrants against some associates, and the "Morning Joe" host warned that Barr was unraveling constitutional norms.

"This is the language that Roy Cohn used attacking the (Department of Justice) and the FBI back in the 1970s, when the federal government caught Donald Trump and his father discriminating against minorities, and he's doing the same thing," Scarborough said. "But he's the attorney general of the United States."

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Painting of naked Zapata stirs uproar in Mexico

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A controversial painting of Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata has pitted his family and supporters against the work's artist and the LGBT community in a contentious dispute that erupted in heated protests Tuesday.

The divisive image shows the iconic figure naked and wearing a pink hat and high heels shaped like guns, while perched suggestively on a horse that has an erection.

Some hundred protesters stormed the Palacio de Bellas Artes -- Mexico's premier cultural center -- chanting "Burn it! Burn it!" and threatening to set the painting on fire Tuesday. They said the painting, called "La Revolucion," "denigrates" the revolutionary's likeness.

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Eruption fears halt plans to get bodies off New Zealand volcano

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Fears of another eruption at the New Zealand volcano believed to have killed 15 people made it too dangerous for emergency teams to recover bodies, police said Wednesday, as doctors fought to save survivors who suffered horrific burns.

The official death toll after Monday's explosion on White Island stands at six, with police listing another nine as missing, up from the previous figure of eight.

Their bodies are thought to be on the island, but it remains too hazardous for rescuers to travel there, and for forensic pathologists, odontologists and other victim identification experts to begin their work.

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