President Donald Trump and South Korea's Moon Jae-in agreed Thursday on the importance of nuclear talks with North Korea, but the two leaders aren't completely aligned on whether sanctions will pressure Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons or drive him away from the negotiating table.
The South Korean leader met Trump on Thursday and also managed to meet US Vice President Mike Pence and take part in a joint meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US National Security Advisor John Bolton.
Earlier Moon sat down with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton and said it is necessary "to maintain the momentum of dialogue and achieve results through a top-down approach so the worldwide community can look forward to a third U.S".
He is a second-generation revolutionary and personally knew the late Kim Jong Il, Mr Kim Jong Un's father, for over 50 years, North Korea Leadership Watch said.
Leader Kim Jong Un has made economic development the centerpiece of his strategy and told officials this week that building a self-supporting economy would be a blow to the "hostile forces" that have imposed sanctions on the North Korea.
Pyongyang said it had pushed for limited sanctions relief in exchange for dismantling its main nuclear facility at Yongbyon.
FILE - Choe Ryong Hae, a close aide of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, attends a meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Nov. 20, 2014.
On top of being elected as the nominal head of state, Choe was also appointed as first vice chairman of State Affairs Commission (SAC), the North's highest decision making body - a position that was newly created after the North recently revised its Constitution.
Trump extended his wishes to Kim in remarks with Moon by his side, while Moon told Trump that there was a dramatic turnaround in the situation on the Korean Peninsula after Trump's first meeting with Kim. "The big deal is, you have to get rid of the nuclear weapons".
North Korea named a new nominal head of state and a new premier, state media said on Friday, replacing the two senior leaders charged with representing Pyongyang in many global engagements and playing a major role in developing the civilian economy.
I enjoy being with the Chairman.
In December, Choe was one of three North Korean officials sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for "serious human rights abuses and censorship". The assembly was said to have re-elected Kim because of "his outstanding ideological and theoretical wisdom and experienced and seasoned leadership".
"South Korea (Republic of Korea) is doing certain things to help out with food and various other things for North Korea (DPRK)", Trump added.
Last April Kim declared that the ruling party's "new strategic line" would be "socialist economic construction" and its quest for nuclear development was complete.
Choe was one of the three officials sanctioned by the United States in December over allegations of rights abuses.
She said her country might pull out of the nuclear negotiations with the United States, citing a lack of corresponding steps to some disarmament measures North Korea took a year ago.