But even the suggestion of Assad's outreach to North Korea is certain to ripple through White House efforts to define an agenda for the planned June 12 summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim. Beijing wants to avoid the collapse of the Kim regime, which could bring a USA ally to its borders and drive thousands of North Korean refugees into China.
Ahead of the summit, North Korea has been engaged in a flurry of diplomatic activity.
A design for one of three medallions unveiled by Singapore Mint commemorating US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's meeting in Singapore is shown in this handout image supplied by the Singapore Mint on June 5, 2018.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has also offered to chip in a share of the million dollars it was awarded for winning the Nobel Peace Prize past year.
The move could also be about putting younger, more loyal officials around him while the country begins to focus on economic development, Michael Madden, a North Korea expert from 38 North, told Reuters.
Trump on Friday revived the summit after cancelling it a week earlier.
China, arguably Pyongyang's closest ally and main trading partner, has long advocated for talks between the USA and North Korea.
"We are actively preparing for the 12 June summit between the president and the North Korean leader", Sanders said on Monday.
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Sanders called the letter that top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol delivered from Kim Jong Un to Trump on Friday "interesting" but wouldn't comment on its contents.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Kim was invited to take part in an economic forum held in the far eastern city of Vladivostok in September.
Adds Trump's statement that summit will proceed.
Jang, previously one of the most powerful men in North Korea, was purged and executed in 2013 after he reportedly built up an alternate power base to his nephew. "The world welcomes the remarkable events in the Korean peninsula brought about recently by the outstanding political caliber and wise leadership of [His Excellency] Kim Jong-un".
"No is a person who has come to the fore in the Kim Jong Un era, as a up-and-coming and trusted aide".
For Kim, recognition of his rule and nuclear power status of North Korea is the prime objective. After assuming the leadership in North Korea in 2012, Kim had stated several times that he did not want his people to "tighten their belt" referring to the years of starvation that the country witnessed during his father's rule.
In addition, Kim has made two trips to China in recent months and met on Thursday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.