In late June, after it had taken place, United States officials said North Korea appeared to have increased production of fuel for nuclear weapons. It said that imagery collected by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in recent weeks also pointed to "ongoing work on at least one Hwasong-15" at the Sanumdong site.
The Sanumdong factory produced two Hwasong-15 ICBMs, North Korea's longest-range missiles, but the United States official noted that Pyongyang still had not tested a reliable re-entry vehicle capable of surviving a high-velocity trip through the Earth's atmosphere and delivering a nuclear warhead.
Addressing upcoming meetings in southeast Asia, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert confirmed that North Korea's Kim Jong-un had already committed to full denuclearization during his June summit with President Trump.
A C-17 containing remains of fallen service members departed Wonsan, North Korea, on Thursday Hawaii time headed to South Korea and accompanied by United Nations Command Korea officials and technical experts from the accounting agency to preliminarily examine the remains.
The delegation met with Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea.
Pompeo assured lawmakers that the U.S. was working toward finding a solution without easing its sanctions against North Korea, but also admitted during his testimony that it was "continuing to create fissile material".
It's not clear that North Korea has moved on to a new era of being extra deceptive ... because the current levels of deceptions seem to have been serving it well.
FILE - A soldier carries a casket containing a remain of a USA soldier who was killed in the Korean War, during a ceremony at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, July 27, 2018.
The Pentagon estimates that almost 7,700 USA troops are unaccounted for from the war; among them are 5,300 believed to have been killed north of the 38th parallel, which largely follows the boundary between North and South Korea.
While North Korea honored its promise to return the remains of fallen USA soldiers during the Korean War, there have been troubling reports that Pyongyang will never truly disarm.
"New images just today show that North Korea has begun the process of dismantling a key missile site, and we appreciate that", Trump said, an apparent reference to images of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station published Monday by the prominent monitoring group 38 North.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with his ASEAN counterparts in Singapore this week, promoting the Trump administration's vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, but concerns about North Korea may dominate the agenda.
Analysts consider the issue to be low-hanging fruit for Pyongyang and Washington negotiators - something that both sides could easily agree to in order to establish a modicum of trust and good will as they continue to negotiate over North Korea's nuclear weapons program. "North Korea has great potential for the future!"
North Korea had told USA officials a couple of times in recent years that it had about 200 sets of US war remains, although none was "already identified".
That was the case with U.S. negotiations with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and more recently with Iran, "which continued to build more centrifuges capable of producing nuclear material even as it negotiated with the United States to limit those capabilities", Mr Wit said.
"We don't know who's in those boxes", Mattis said last week, noting Australia and other countries also are missing troops. It had been used to assemble space launch vehicles and develop and test liquid-fuel rocket engines. Indeed, the commitments regarding its nuclear weapons program were so vague as to be nearly meaningless, in my view.