The Trump administration will not require North Korea to provide a list of its nuclear weapons and missile sites to the USA before President Trump meets Kim Jong Un for the second time, according to a report.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies states, "North Korea's decommissioning of the Sohae satellite launch facility, while gaining much media attention, obscures the military threat to US forces and South Korea from this and other undeclared ballistic missile bases".
Soon afterwards Kim declared the development of his nuclear arsenal - which Pyongyang has long said it needs to defend itself against a possible invasion by the United States - complete.
His remarks come as Trump dismissed as "fake news" a report by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies that it had found 13 undeclared North Korean missile bases.
The ambassador also said he doesn't expect the Trump administration to change its North Korea policy after the opposition Democratic Party regained control of the US House of Representatives last week.
North Korea had entered into agreements with regional powers in 1994 and in 2005 to dismantle its nuclear program in return for economic benefits and diplomatic rewards, but those deals broke down after Pyongyang clandestinely continued to pursue building weapons of mass destruction.
"We believe that the summit will likely occur after the 1st of the year but the when and the where of that is still being worked out", he told reporters. On the contrary, he made several references to complete and verifiable denuclearization, a goal that could not be achieved without a complete inventory of North Korea's existing weapons.
His comments came after a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of a summit attended by world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
Moon said that the North's leader is expected to visit Seoul in the near future and a second U.S.
A second summit between Trump and Kim was also on the agenda.
U.S. officials insist on the complete, verified and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula before sanctions are lifted. He also said that a lot of progress has been made, but there still remains much work to do ahead.
"Spoke about our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific & reaffirmed our commitment to strengthen security and counterterrorism cooperation and coordination", Pence tweeted after his meeting with Modi.
"I have no doubt that (US Vice-President Mike Pence) conveys his President's intent and has conveyed accurately what his president...wanted him to register (at the summit)", said Lee.
"If you are friends with two countries which are on different sides, sometimes it is possible to get along with both, sometimes it's more awkward when you try to get along with both", Lee said as he wrapped up the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit. The vice president's late father Edward Pence, Jr. was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in the Korean War.