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Following the Defense Writers Group conversation September 20, 2018, Rebecca Kheel of The Hill wrote:

"The Pentagon has offered to meet with the North Koreans in the last week of October in a third-party country to negotiate joint excavation operations to recover more Korean War remains, the head of the agency in charge of the mission said Thursday.

The agency would hope to start the operations in spring 2019, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) director Kelly McKeague added.

“We fully expect to be able to reach a suitable arrangement that is compatible with both nations and our objectives,” he told the Defense Writer’s Group.

Recovering Korean War remains was one the commitments President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to at their Singapore summit in June.

About 7,000 U.S. service members from the Korean War remain unaccounted for, with DPAA estimating that about 5,300 were lost in North Korea.

In July, North Korea turned over 55 cases of remains believed to be of U.S. troops.

DPAA has identified two people in that set of remains so far. The Army notified one family Tuesday and the other family Wednesday, McKeague said Thursday.

McKeague would not reveal the identity of the soldiers Thursday morning, saying the White House has requested to do that. He said he expects the announcement to come either later Thursday at Vice President Pence’s event at the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation or Friday as part of Trump’s POW/MIA Recognition Day proclamation."

The Hill:US proposes October talks on recovering war remains from North Korea

The Wall Street Journal:Trump Releases Names of Two Service Members Returned From North Korea

ABC News: Remains of two US soldiers identified from boxes turned over by North Korea

Washington Examiner:Pentagon says it is negotiating a summit with North Korea on troop remains

Washington Post: US Possible October talks with North Korea on war remains


The Hill: Overnight Defense: Trump identifies first soldier remains from North Korea | New cyber strategy lets US go on offense | Army chief downplays talk of 'Fort Trump'

Stars and Stripes:US identifies first two US soldiers from Korean War remains

ABC News: US Possible October talks with North Korea on war remains

US identifies remains of 2 Korean War soldiers

Yahoo News: Trump releases first two names of U.S. war dead handed over by North Korea

Under Secretary of State Andrea Thompson's brief extends from arms control to foreign military sales: from how to manage the arms race in space and cyber,  to arranging for the cleaning up of unexploded ordinance in places like Vietnam. Just back from a trip where she spoke with officials in Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam she told a Defense Writers Group gathering that while Russia and others are offering their weapons systems to the marketplace often at lower prices, "every country I visited asked for more American" equipment and support.
Thompson is a former Army Colonel with a career as an intelligence officer, who served Vice President Pence as his national security advisor before her appointment as Under Secretary.
Thompson and other Administration officials are spending a lot of time on the potential for future conflict in space. The French government recently protested a Russian satellite that moved in closer to a French military communications satellite, leading to concern it Moscow may be developing satellite killers that could be used in time of conflict to knock out the communications of rival states.
Thompson was asked what a space or cyber arms control treaty might look like?
"It may not be a treaty" she said, it may instead be a set of accepted rules and norms that nations wanting to be considered civilized nations sign on to.
As Space News reported it:
“Space is something we talk about very often,” Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson told reporters at a breakfast meeting on Friday.

Thompson, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, noted that she is not a space expert and would not comment specifically on the militarization of space or the use of space weapons.

But she did stress the need for greater international dialogue on what the rules of behavior should be in space. “We need to have discussions. What is a responsible nation state behavior in space?” Thompson said. At the State Department, “Those discussions are just starting.”

The United States will be participating next week in the United Nations’ first ever conference on space law and policy, to be held in Moscow.

“I look forward to hearing the results from the UN” dialogue, said Thompson.

The UN said the conference will focus on the “legal and policy aspects and implications, both current and anticipated, of activities in outer space.” A central issue is that the resources of outer space are being used by an increasing number of states and non-governmental entities. As more actors engage in space activities, there are concerns that a competition for those resources could lead to international conflicts."

Three students taking classes at George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs observed the session and had a chance to meet the Under Secretary. She urged Emily Milakovic, who is majoring in  Journalism and Mass Communication and freshmen  Zachary Nosanchuk and Emily Harms  to consider applying for State Department internships.

Voice of America: US Warns North Korea: No Concessions Without Denuclearization

Shephard Media: Washington eyes meeting ahead of foreign drone sales

Defense Daily: U.S. To Push MTCR Changes For More UAS Sales

Space News: State Dept. official: ‘We need to have discussions about space’

Inside the Pentagon:U.S. looks to November policy meeting to push foreign drone sales

Defense News: ‘Espionage:' French defense head charges Russia of dangerous games in space


Army Secretary Dr Mark Esper’s session August 29th prompted more than a dozen articles on a wide variety of topics, as the Secretary showed his detailed grasp of the policy issues facing the massive service he leads.

Esper took on sometimes difficult questions on how the Army is going to increase recruitment, in a time of low unemployment and high demand for labor from private employers, problems with obesity among young people 18-25, and polls showing fewer Americans have an inclination to serve their country.  Far from lowering standards in light of these challenges, Esper said the Army is raising them, with a new tougher fitness standard. That said, he looks constantly at evolving standards on matters such as body mutilation or previous drug use. He appeared ready to be flexible in some areas. Some reports say Army-approved waivers are being offered more frequently now for such matters.

Esper worries that increasingly the U.S. Army comes from “just one percent of the country” and is turning into a “family business”, which is not healthy for the country.

He spoke about the lessons being learned from the way the Russians are using non-conventional warfare tactics in Ukraine, including drones and indirect fire, and the ways in which the training programs for Afghan troops need to be tailored to their needs.   The Secretary is hopeful about the new Army Futures Command, but wants to leave it to the commander, General Murray, to shape his force as he sees fit. Afghan Forces Need More Mortar Training, Army Advisers Say


Breaking Defense: Army Futures Command: $100M, 500 Staff, & Access To Top Leaders


Bloomberg News: BAE's Army Vehicle Production to Be Inspected by Service Chief


National Defense Magazine: Army Leader Mum on Program Cuts


Defense One:


Shephard Media:US Army looking to 'rebuild' EW capabilities


US Army prepares for 2nd Security Force deployment


Defense Daily: Esper: Futures Command To Cost $80 Million – $100 Million Per Year, Oversee $30 Billion Modernization Portfolio


Federal News Radio: Army has its work cut out for it to build the force, Esper says


Jane’s: US Army secretary: welding issues hinder Paladin howitzer production


Inside the Army: Esper to visit BAE plant to resolve issues with new howitzer


TASS: Pentagon: US corrects preparation of its Armed Forces taking into account the conflict in Ukraine


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