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U.S. President Donald Trump received a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday that followed up on their recent discussions about denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the White House said on Thursday.

The White House said Thursday that President Donald Trump received a new letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and responded quickly with a letter of his own.

"A letter to President Trump from Chairman Kim was received on Aug 1", said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

In a solemn ceremony, Vice-President Mike Pence was in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to receive the 55 coffins.

Trump's conciliatory tone stands in stark contrast to his rhetoric just past year, when he referred to the North Korean leader as a "little rocket man" in response to Pyongyang's recent ballistic missile tests.

Kim also 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.

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About 7,700 US soldiers are listed as missing from the conflict, and 5,300 of the remains are believed to still be in North Korea.

The repatriation of U.S. remains was agreed by Mr Trump and Mr Kim after their June summit in Singapore.

A USA defense official told VOA North Korea has provided nearly no information to help identify the individuals, and that the process could take months or years to complete.

The United States and North Korea conducted joint searches from 1996 until 2005, when Washington halted the operations, citing concerns about the safety of its personnel as Pyongyang stepped up its nuclear programme.

USA intelligence agencies are seeing signs of construction of missiles at a factory that produced the country's first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, The Washington Post reported earlier this week, citing intel sources.

"I think for the denuclearization to happen, we need to see the move and I haven't seen that yet".

More than 400 caskets of remains found in North Korea were returned to the United States between the 1990s and 2005, with the bodies of some 330 other Americans also accounted for, according to the DPAA.


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