Whirlwind meetings in Washington between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and President Donald Trump, plus senior United States officials appear to have done little to move the two allies' agenda on North Korea forward.
Trump, speaking ahead of closed-door talks at the White House with Moon, said it "isn't the right time" for signing off on sanctions exemptions for inter-Korean projects, including the reopening of the Kaesong industrial facility and Mount Kumgang tourism site, which Moon and Kim agreed to during their third summit in September previous year.
"We want sanctions to remain in place", Trump said at the White House.
While Trump expressed his amity toward North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, there are no known negotiations underway between Pyongyang and Washington at present, hence no indication of a third summit. The two sides gave different reasons for the abrupt end in talks.
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The ruling Democratic Party (DP) said on Friday that Seoul and Washington reaffirmed their shared goal of North Korea's denuclearization based on their firm alliance and understood that top-down diplomacy is viable and essential to the peace process.
Washington considered insufficient what was offered by Pyongyang, as it called for the lifting of many sanctions in exchange for disabling its Yongbyon nuclear research centre.
State media also said that Choe Ryong Hae, one of Kim's top lieutenants, was made president of the assembly's Presidium.
"Kim Jong-un, North Korean leader" North Korean leader, has been re-elected as chairman of the State Affairs Commission, the communist state's highest decision-making body, reported Yonhap News Agency.
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In recent messages following the Hanoi summit, Kim has been calling for the country to upgrade its economic self-reliance in the face of global sanctions.
He said developing the socialist economy would "deal a telling blow to the hostile forces who go with bloodshot eyes miscalculating that sanctions can bring the DPRK to its knees", the report said, using the acronym for the North's official name.
A senior administration official said Thursday that the US and the worldwide community had "clearly defined the scope" of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, have a shared understanding of what final, fully verified denuclearization entails and what meaningful progress toward that goal looks like.
South Korea's spy agency said in 2017 it believed he was behind the punishment of General Hwang Pyong So, once one of Mr Kim Jong Un's most-trusted advisers. That event saw changes in the pecking order of its cadres and the elevation of one official who has been the target of US sanctions.
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Kim also acquired a new title, and now becomes "the supreme representative of all the Korean people" - a newly-created role that observers say makes him more like a modern national leader, on a par with other country's presidents and prime ministers.