Singapore has designated a central region of the wealthy city state as a "special event area" from June 10 to 14 for a planned summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the government said on Monday.
A senior U.S. official, who declined to be identified, quoted a report by South Korea's Yonhap news agency on Sunday which said all three of the North's top military officials were believed to have been replaced.
The US official did not identify the three military officials. Ri was thought to be a confidant of Kim's father, the late leader Kim Jong Il.
"We can anticipate, at best, a bumpy road to the [negotiations]", Mattis said on Sunday before the start of a meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts on the sidelines of Shangri-la dialogue in Singapore.
Also, General Kim Su-gil replaced Kim Jong-gak as director of the powerful General Political Bureau of the KPA, according to North Korean state media last month.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is to join that summit with the meeting likely to declare an end to the Korean War after nearly 70 years, the JoongAng Daily reported yesterday, citing a diplomatic source it did not identify.
But after meeting with a senior North Korean leader Friday, Trump seemed to walk back that approach.
Washington wants North Korea to quickly give up all its nuclear weapons in a verifiable way in return for sanctions and economic relief. North Korea's leadership is believed to regard nuclear weapons as crucial to its survival, while Kim has said he plans to focus on economic development.
Does early start indicate start of violent hurricane season?
The Eastern Pacific hurricane season has already begun - it started May 15 and also lasts until the end of November. When it lies closer to the mainland, tropical systems can be steered into the Mid Atlantic.
No date for the visit was mentioned by the North Korea's KCNA news agency.
'The nuclear weapons are a side issue, ' he said.
Trump met with former North Korean spy chief Kim Yong Chol for about 90 minutes Friday - the highest-level North Korean official to visit the United States in 18 years.
The announcement also reflects Mr Kim's push to shed his reclusive image and seek wider contacts, including apparent efforts underway to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Madden said any similar attempt to wrest power during the North Korean leader's absence was unlikely, pointing to Kim's previous trips to Beijing and Dalian in China, which went off without a hitch.
All of the newly promoted officials are younger than their predecessors, including 63-year-old Ri Yong Gil, who is 21 years younger than Ri Myong Su.
United States and North Korean officials held working-level talks at the border truce village of Panmunjeom on Monday for the third consecutive day to prepare for their summit slated for next week.