U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday the United States will receive the first group of soldiers' remains from North Korea in the next couple of weeks.
In a cabinet meeting at the White House, Pompeo said that in his third trip to the DPRK since assuming the current job, progresses have been made regarding the repatriation of soldiers' remains in the Asian nation.
"We're making progress along the border to get the return of remains - a very important issue for those families," Pompeo said.
"We think in the next couple of weeks we'll have the first remains returned. That's the commitment," he said.
The U.S. foreign policy chief added that U.S. sanctions on North Korea will remain.
"We made progresses on some issues. There's a lot of work to do. It may take some time to get where we need to go. But all of this will be taking place against the backdrop of continued enforcement of existing sanctions," he said.
Pompeo said on Sunday that both the U.S. and North Korea representatives agreed earlier on the same day to restart field operations in the Asian nation to search for the estimated 5,300 Americans missing in the 1950-1953 Korean war.
As part of the outcomes of the U.S.-North Korea leaders' Singapore summit in mid-June, Pyongyang and Washington agreed to commit to recovering the remains of the U.S. war dead and those missing in action during the war, including an immediate repatriation of those already identified.