Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in Washington on Thursday, South Korea's top nuclear envoy Lee Do-hoon said there's been a shift in what North Korea may demand during its upcoming talks with the United States.
While sanctions relief was once the core focus of Pyeongyang's demands, it has shifted that priority to getting a solid security guarantee from the U.S.
"Recently, North Korea's focus has shifted from alleviating sanctions to getting a security guarantee. So together with the U.S., we're discussing various issues."
He added that he expects the working-level talks to resume soon, citing recent statements from the North.
"In September, the regime's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui mentioned their willingness to return to talks. Thus, they're likely to happen soon."
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, President Trump suggested a "new method" of focusing on a security guarantee could help break the impasse in the denuclearization negotiations.
The remarks came as he criticized his former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, for advocating the 'Libyan model' in talks with the North.
The Libya model calls for North Korea to unilaterally dismantle its nuclear weapons program before receiving any concessions, which Pyeongyang viewed as a threat to topple the regime.
Denuclearization talks are expected to resume later this month, although nothing has been scheduled yet.
Pyeongyang earlier demanded the U.S. come up with a "new calculation method" and renewed calls for security guarantees and sanctions relief.
Lee Kyungeun, Arirang News.