At the very minimum, it will take meeting, talking, building trust and having a working relationship to convince North Korea - which was destroyed by United States warplanes during the Korean War - to give up its sole deterrent to prevent an American nuclear first strike.
Despite an eventual cease fire in 1953, North Korea, South Korea, and the United States are technically still at a state of war.
Pyongyang had been expected to return about 55 sets of remains from the 1950-53 Korean war, a step meant to fulfil a commitment made by leader Kim Jong-un during his summit with president Donald Trump in June.
He said Trump remained upbeat about the prospects for North Korean denuclearisation, but Kim needed to follow through on his summit commitments.
The remains are believed to be some of the more than 200 that North Korea has held in storage for some time, and were likely recovered from land during farming or construction. North Korea soon accused the United States of making a "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization" while failing to offer corresponding USA incentives to improve ties.
"The adoption of the declaration on the termination of war is the first and foremost process in the light of ending the extreme hostility and establishing new relations between the DPRK and the US", the North's Korean Central News Agency said in a statement on Tuesday, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. He also boasted that North Korea's nuclear crisis had been "largely solved".
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Some analysts suggest the declaration could take place at the UN General Assembly session in September -provided that Kim Jong-un manages to make his first trip to the UN and meets with Moon, Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. "We are encouraged by North Korea's actions and the momentum for positive change".
Many skeptics have expressed concerns that North Korea would offer remains of individuals not affiliated with the Korean War, or even decayed remains of animals instead of humans, so as to not comply with the demand for their return.
Asked at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing whether North Korea was still making bomb fuel, Pompeo responded to Democratic Senator Ed Markey by saying: "Yes, that's correct".
Nan Kim, an associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and author of Memory, Reconciliation, and Reunions in South Korea: Crossing the Divide, said: "It is critical for all sides to reach a diplomatic resolution for ending the Korean War, and time is precious while it's still possible to reunite surviving members of war-separated families".
He rejected Markey's suggestion that the United States was being "taken for a ride" by North Korea, replying, "fear not senator, fear not".
"(China's participation) is not necessary.
North Korean and United Nations forces delegates meet at the cross-border village of Panmunjom to discuss an armistice on October 11, 1951.