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Trump thanks North Korea’s Kim keeping word on war remains, hopes to see him ‘soon’

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President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he looked forward to meeting Kim Jong Un soon and thanked the North Korean leader for sending the suspected remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the 1950-1953 Korean War back to the United States.

“Thank you to Chairman Kim Jong Un for keeping your word & starting the process of sending home the remains of our great and beloved missing fallen! I am not at all surprised that you took this kind action,” Trump wrote in a Twitter message.

“Also, thank you for your nice letter – I look forward to seeing you soon!”, Trump said, without elaborating.
The pledge to return the remains of U.S. soldiers was made during a landmark summit between Trump and Kim in June in Singapore, where North Korea committed to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Kim sent a letter to Trump in mid-July in which the North Korean leader said he hoped there would be a second meeting between the two but it was unclear if that was the “nice letter” to which Trump referred on Thursday.

Trump also took to Twitter earlier to praise an “incredibly beautiful ceremony” in Hawaii, where Vice President Mike Pence helped welcome the remains to the United States.

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The United States said during a solemn ceremony on Wednesday the human remains presumably included Americans killed in the Korean War and thanked North Korea for making good on its pledge to hand them over.

The pledge to transfer war remains was seen as a goodwill gesture by Kim at the Singapore summit and was the most concrete agreement reached by the two sides so far.

“I know that President Trump is grateful that Chairman Kim has kept his word, and we see today this tangible progress in our efforts to achieve peace on the Korean peninsula,” said Pence, whose father fought in the Korean War.

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More than 7,700 U.S. troops remain unaccounted for from the Korea War. About 5,300 were lost in what is now North Korea.

Other countries under the command of the United Nations also lost troops that are still unaccounted for, including the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

Experts say positively identifying the decades-old remains could take anywhere from days to decades.

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Still, an initial field forensic review indicated the “remains are what North Korea said they were”, John Byrd, director of analysis for the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, told reporters at an air base in South Korea before the remains were flown to Hawaii.

Reporting by Soyoung Kim in SEOUL; Editing by Paul Tait


Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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‘Clear and present racism’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Mika say Kellyanne Conway should have been ‘fired on the spot’ for slurring reporter

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were astonished by Kellyanne Conway's response to a reporter asking about President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four first-year lawmakers.

The White House senior adviser asked Breakfast Media White House correspondent Andrew Feinberg, who is Jewish, about his ethnicity after he asked Conway what countries Trump was telling the Democratic congresswomen to return.

"I won't draw any parallels with any fascist countries, but what happened yesterday in a press gaggle has nothing to do with the United States of America," Scarborough said, "and in any other administration over the past 240 years, a person that did what Kellyanne Conway did yesterday would have been fired on the spot. By the time she left the press gaggle and went back into the White House, they would have already packed up her belongings and would have told her leave by the back door and never talk to us again."

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French lawmakers approve controversial bill to rebuild Notre-Dame

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French MPs on Tuesday approved a law on the reconstruction of Notre-Dame, three months after flames ravaged the great Paris cathedral, but with the rebuilding process still mired in controversy.

The cathedral, part of a UNESCO world heritage site covering the banks of the River Seine in Paris, lost its gothic spire, roof and precious artefacts in the April 15 blaze.

Tourists in Paris are still heading to Notre-Dame to take photos and selfies, with the horrific fire only increasing its global fame, although they cannot access the esplanade in front of the building let alone the edifice itself.

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Iceland tries to bring back trees razed by the Vikings

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Before being colonised by the Vikings, Iceland was lush with forests but the fearsome warriors razed everything to the ground and the nation is now struggling to reforest the island.

The country is considered the least forested in Europe; indeed, forests in Iceland are so rare, or their trees so young, that people often joke that those lost in the woods only need to stand up to find their way.

However, it wasn't always that way.

When seafaring Vikings set off from Norway and conquered the uninhabited North Atlantic island at the end of the ninth century, forests, made up mostly of birch trees, covered more than a quarter of the island.

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