U.S. Must Look Backward, Focus Forward in North Korea Peace Talks

Recovering U.S. soldiers' Korean War remains shouldn't distract from goal of denuclearization.

north korea
Soldiers carry caskets containing remains of U.S. soldiers who were killed in the Korean War during a ceremony at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek on July 27, 2018. (KIM HONG-JI/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

For the first time in 13 years, the United States may soon send teams into North Korea to looks for the remains of soldiers killed during the Korean War. Josh Rogin, a columnist for the Global Opinions section of the Washington Post, writes that this is progress. However, we cannot lose sight of the far more important security goal: denuclearization.

Last month, North Korean officials confirmed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that they want to resume joint recovery operations north of the demilitarized zone. Bringing back soldiers’ remains could result in the identification of hundreds of missing Americans, which would give families closure. But, Rogin says, we should not believe the Trump administration claim that recovering remains represents progress in the nuclear talks.

Last week, National Security Adviser John Bolton said North Korea has made no progress on denuclearization. And on Tuesday, Pentagon officials speaking at the White House said recovery operations are not connected to the nuclear negotiations as far as they are concerned, according to Rogin.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.