- US special envoy going to Pyongyang to prepare for Trump-Kim summit
- US sanctions proving ineffective: UN report
North Korea is working to ensure its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities cannot be destroyed by military strikes, UN monitors said ahead of a meeting between US and North Korean officials to prepare a second denuclearisation summit.
The US special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, will meet his North Korean counterpart today in Pyongyang to prepare for a summit later this month between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the US State Department said on Monday.
Biegun has said he hoped the meeting with new North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok Chol would map out "a set of concrete deliverables" for the summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Biegun, who held talks with South Korean officials in Seoul on Sunday and Monday, said he would be aiming for "a roadmap of negotiations and declarations going forward, and a shared understanding of the desired outcomes of our joint efforts".
South Korean officials said they and the United States could be looking at a compromise that could expedite North Korea's denuclearisation - the dismantling of the North's main Yongbyon nuclear complex, which could be reciprocated by US measures including formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War and setting up a liaison office.
But UN sanctions monitors said in a confidential report, submitted to a 15-member UN Security Council sanctions committee and seen by Reuters on Monday, that they had "found evidence of a consistent trend on the part of the DPRK to disperse its assembly, storage and testing locations", using the abbreviation for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
It has also repeatedly urged a lifting of punishing US-led sanctions, a formal end to the war, and security guarantees.
The UN report said sanctions were proving ineffective.