Three North Korean officials reportedly booked on flight to Washington


South Korean leader Moon Jae-in a year ago indicated his support for a trilateral summit with US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un if their talks led to progress on an end-of-war declaration.

Both sides are expected to finalise the date and location of a second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and the North's envoy is likely to meet Trump, the paper said.

A meeting could mean the two sides are nearing a compromise after months of standoff over how to move forward in ending North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, which it conducted for years in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

Kim reiterated his resolve to meet Trump again during a meeting last week with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Last year, North Korea "heightened its global influence and it had received a great support, understanding, and fervent welcome from the whole world", KCNA noted. "As a result, North Korea has neared the time when it could credibly do so", it says.

The envoy visited the US capital at the end of May previous year, a few weeks before the first historic Kim-Trump summit in Singapore on June 12.

She also said Seoul was not considering restarting a joint factory park and tours to a mountain resort in the North as a possible concession.

The two sides would seek "interim" measures to revitalise the denuclearisation process, with North Korea dismissing US demands it declare all nuclear weapons and facilities, officials in Seoul told Reuters.

"While there has been a yearlong pause in North Korean missile testing, Pyongyang's retention of its missile arsenal capable of striking at U.S. forces in Asia and even threatening the USA homeland indicates that its going to take more than just missile defense to change the equation with the Kim regime", said Behnam Taleblu of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Coalition says American forces killed in ISIS attack on Syria's Manbij
There were several reported casualties in the city a militia controlling the city and a UK-based monitoring group said. White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said President Trump had been "fully briefed" on the incident.

North Korea argues the deal implied a step-by-step approach, where each of its actions are met by USA responses, while Trump administration officials assert that Mr Kim accepted his country's "final, fully verified denuclearisation".

A second face-to-face meeting between the DPRK leader and the USA president would help accelerate joint projects between the North and the South, the minister assured.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged on Wednesday that efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal had not made headway.

Regardless, if there is any real prospect of a U.S.

He defended stuttering USA negotiations with Kim, saying that Pyongyang had stopped missile and bomb testing and if it had not been for his administration "you'd be having a nice big fat war in Asia".

North Korea will continue sticking to the stance of denuclearization and resolving the Korean Peninsula issue through dialogue and consultation, he added.

Trump said on January 2 that he had received a "great" letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and would probably meet him again in the not-too-distant future, but there was no rush.

While still Trump's biggest foreign policy success, the US President's first meeting with Kim was criticized by some for failing to hold North Korea to firm guarantees.

Some are suspicious of the timing of Kim Yong Chol's Washington visit.