When US President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un next week in Hanoi, he will lay out the benefits Pyongyang could gain if it agrees to denuclearise, a senior White House official says.
Trump has said he is in "no rush" for denuclearisation as long as North Korea is not testing rockets or nuclear weapons, and has stressed sanctions on Pyongyang remain in place ahead of the leaders' second summit.
"President Trump is looking to, after really, in some respect, breaking the ice in June, to talk in more depth about the kind of future North Korea could enjoy," the official said, noting this hinged on "final and full denuclearisation."
The staffer was referring to Trump's repeated talking points about Pyongyang's "enormous" economic potential, if it can open up its economy.
Pre-negotiations between the sides are ongoing in Vietnam and will continue until the moment Trump and Kim sit down for their face-to-face.
The official, noting comments by US intelligence leaders that North Korea likely will not give up weapons it sees as critical to the regime's survival, said the goal is to have North Korea "make a different set of choices."
There have been no talks about US troops departing South Korea.
The news comes as the UN says North Korea has asked for help from international humanitarian groups to combat food shortages.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Thursday that food production figures provided by North Korea show "there is a food gap of about 1.4 million tons expected for 2019, and that's crops including rice, wheat, potato and soybeans."
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has given the go-ahead for North Korean officials to travel to Vietnam.
A request from Vietnam to exempt officials on a UN blacklist for travel bans was granted in the council's North Korea sanctions committee earlier this week, UN diplomats told DPA on Thursday.
Australian Associated Press