State Department says US is ‘ready’ to meet with North Korean officials after being stood up

The State Department said the U.S. is “ready” to meet with North Korean officials on Sunday, after North Korean officials never appeared for a meeting Thursday concerning the return of American troop remains from the Korean War.

“Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol agreed in his dialogue with Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo to have his team meet with an American team in Panmunjom on or around July 12th to move forward with the repatriation of American service members’ remains,” Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement. “Mid day July 12th they contacted us and offered to meet on July 15th. We will be ready.”

The Washington Post reported earlier on Thursday that officials from the Department of Defense and the United Nations arrived at the Demilitarized Zone as arranged by the State Department. But the North Korean officials never showed.

North Korean officials have previously stood up members of the Trump administration. Prior to President Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last month, it was disclosed that top North Korean officials did not appear for a planning meeting with U.S. officials.

Returning the remains of U.S. troops was agreed upon during the Trump-Kim summit. Trump has said that Pyongyang has already started to return some of the remains.

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