Defence Secretary Mark Esper said that the US and South Korea will postpone upcoming military drills to bolster the North Korea peace effort.
"I don't see this as a concession. I see this as a good faith effort ... to enable peace," he said.
Japanese Defence Minister Taro Kono tells US, South Korean counterparts "no one could be optimistic about North Korea".
"No one could be optimistic about North Korea. North Korea has repeatedly launched more than 20 missiles this year, including new types of ballistic missiles, as well as a submarine-launched ballistic missile," Kono said.
Military drills held on the Korean Peninsula have been one of the cornerstones in the denuclearization dialogue between North Korea and the United States.
In early November, media reported that the United States and South Korea might skip the Vigilant ACE annual joint military exercises in December for the second year in a row in support of diplomatic denuclearization efforts in North Korea.
After the first US-North Korea summit in 2018, US President Donald Trump announced that he intended to suspend the joint military exercises with South Korea, calling them expensive and inappropriate in dialogue with Pyongyang. Since then, the allies have canceled several drills, which North Korea usually sees as a provocation.