US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Vietnam in July and urged North Korea to follow its example, saying Trump believed Pyongyang could replicate Hanoi’s path to normal relations with Washington and prosperity after its own war with the United States.
US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun was due to hold talks in Pyongyang this week to map out what he called “a set of concrete deliverables” for the second meeting.
The Singapore summit yielded a vague commitment from Kim to work toward the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, where US troops have been stationed since the 1950-1953 Korean War.
In the US view, Pyongyang has yet to take concrete steps to give up its nuclear weapons. North Korea has complained that Washington has done little to reciprocate its freezing of nuclear and missile testing and dismantling of some nuclear facilities.
Pyongyang has repeatedly urged a lifting of punishing US-led sanctions, a formal end to the war, and security guarantees.
Trump has hailed “tremendous progress” in his dealings with North Korea. But on the eve of Biegun’s trip, a confidential report by UN sanctions monitors seen by Reuters cast further doubt on North Korea’s intentions.
It said the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs remained intact and that North Korea was working to make sure those capabilities could not be destroyed by any military strikes.