The U.S. envoy for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said on Saturday his three-day visit to Pyongyang was "productive" but "some hard work" still remains.
"I would say it was a productive set of discussions over the last few days, and our team engaged on a number of areas of mutual interest, and we've agreed to meet again," Yonhap reported citing Stephen Biegun, U.S. Special Representative for the DPRK after his meeting with his South Korean counterpart Lee Do-hoon.
Biegun flew back to Seoul on Friday evening after a working-level talk with his DPRK counterparts aimed at fine-tuning details for the second summit between President Donald Trump and DPRK's top leader Kim Jong Un at the end of the month.
As Biegun wrapping up his stay in Pyongyang, Trump wrote on twitter that his summit with Kim will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, from February 27 to 28.
After saying Biegun's trip to Pyongyang was "productive", Trump said he looks forward to seeing Kim Jong Un and advancing peace in the region.
In Pyongyang, Biegun met his DPRK's counterpart Kim Hyok-chol, a former ambassador to Spain, with the aim to push for the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula that their leaders agreed to in their first historic summit in Singapore in July.
The DPRK and the U.S. have been divided on the process of denuclearization since the meeting. Pyongyang demands Washington to ease sanctions to reward its steps taken on demolishing its nuclear and missile weapons sites, while Washington insists no sanctions can be relaxed until a "final, fully" verified denuclearization has occurred.
The U.S. envoy also spoke to Seoul's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on the phone. Yonhap cited him saying that there will be "some hard work" to do with the DPRK before the February meeting but did not elaborate.
"We don't know where it is going to go, but we are in the midst of a conversation with the North," he told Kang.
"I am confident that both sides stay committed, that we can make real progress," he added.
But Kang expressed optimism. She said Biegun's visit to Pyongyang was "long and momentous." She also called on the U.S. side to further deepen cooperation in advancing the agenda of lasting peace on the peninsula by "developing inter-Korean relations and U.S.-DPRK relations in a virtuous cycle."