But the president's optimistic outlook about North Korea's willingness to denuclearize and steps in that direction have been brought into question, after an NBC report claiming North Korea has been expanding a nuclear facility.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have been too busy visiting a potato farm to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Pyongyang's state media implied Tuesday.
However, officials say it could be months before excavations can begin and years until the remains are identified.
But given the harsh statements from Pyongyang following Pompeo's trip last week - the North Korean Foreign Ministry blasted Washington's stance on denuclearization as "gangster-like" - it's possible that it's gonna be a long, long time.
North Korean officials didn't show up for a planned meeting with USA counterparts to discuss returning the remains of American war dead, South Korean media reported, in the latest sign of tensions between the two sides.
The two sides had been expected to discuss at the Korean Peninsula's demilitarized zone the return of USA troop remains from the 1950-1953 war - an arrangement that the State Department had announced after Secretary Mike Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang last Friday and Saturday.
Much progress has been made compared to 20 years ago but "significant humanitarian challenges" remain, Lowcock said.
Hua insisted that China hopes to see North Korea and the United States expand their ties and work together.
While China may be genuinely committed to pushing Pyongyang to denuclearize, it'll inevitably bear the brunt of any back-and-forth from North Korea's delivery, according to Tsai Tung-Chieh, a professor of global politics at National Chung Hsing University in Taichung, central Taiwan.
Kim Jong-un in a potato field.
Kim has met Xi twice in the lead-up to his June summit with Trump and the third to brief Xi on the outcome of the talks.
If the agency does return to North Korea, he said cooperation will be key.
U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) director Kelly McKeague stated in an interview with Reuters that the agency is "hopeful these discussions on July 12 will lead to further discussions and negotiations directly with the North Koreans by which we can actually get down to the detailed planning". The U.S. also risks giving the North Koreans leverage to continue diplomacy and drag out disarmament talks. Trump tweeted last September.
Trump has expressed an eagerness to tout the recovery of the war dead, telling Fox News that Kim was "giving us back the remains of probably 7,500 soldiers". "Instead, he will feel more eased sided by South Korea and China and can certainly leverage the three-to-one advantage to constrain the U.S".