Trump hails progress after receiving note from North Korea's Kim

"Great progress being made", Trump tweeted on Thursday along with the letter, calling it a "very nice note from Chairman Kim".

The US secretary of state visited Pyongyang on Friday and Saturday in an attempt to agree details of a deal made during June's historic summit between Donald Trump and the North Korean dictator.

President Trump tweeted out the note, dated July 6, on Thursday.

He shared the four-paragraph letter on Twitter, in which Mr Kim describes their 12 June summit - and the resulting joint statement - as the "start of a meaningful journey".

"I extend my conviction that the epochal progress in promoting the DPRK-U.S. relations will bring our next meeting forward", Kim Jong Un wrote.

Trump's comments came just hours after North Korean officials failed to show up at a planned meeting Thursday with their United States counterparts to discuss the repatriation of the remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean war.

More than 36,000 USA troops died in the three-year war, which ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula divided by one of the world's most heavily fortified borders.

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The Defense Department estimates there are up to 5,300 sets of U.S. service member remains still somewhere in North Korea. The agreement reportedly covered the remains of some 200 American soldiers.

"We had expected that the USA side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders' summit. we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures", Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, according to The Associated Press.

Interested in North Korea?

North Korean officials did not attend a planned meeting with Americans to discuss the return of U.S. soldiers' remains, officials have said.

Kim Jong-un has sent a warm but vague letter to his new friend Donald Trump.

The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, also downplayed the North Koreans' antics, stating it was all part of Pyongyang's "strategy" toward extracting more concessions from the United States.

While recovering the war dead would provide Trump a political victory similar to Kim's May release of three American detainees, it would do little to advance the goal of dismantling the regime's weapons program. That's according to documents seen by The Associated Press on Thursday and sent by the the Security Council committee monitoring the sanctions.

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