Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has departed for Washington to hold talks with his U.S. counterpart and meet with high-ranking administration officials responsible for foreign policy and security issues.
However, the improving diplomatic environment has hit a rocky patch, with North Korea threatening to pull out of a summit meeting between leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore planned for June 12.
Just weeks after Kim declared a "new history" and an "era of peace" at an April summit with Moon, Pyongyang abruptly canceled high-level talks with Seoul. It has promised to invite journalists from the USA and several other countries to witness the demolition, and satellite images have shown what appear to be viewing stands being built nearby. CBS News is the only US broadcast network in North Korea to witness the shutdown of the Punggye-ri site in the northeast of the coutry.
But the two leaders are coming at that shared goal from much different political positions: While Trump's approval numbers are mired in the low 40s, Moon's approval stands at 75 percent of South Koreans, according to one poll published last week.
At least some of this praise seems to have come at the behest of Trump himself, according to US officials, suggesting that the American president is eager for a diplomatic win ahead of unfavorable odds in midterm elections.
"U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin also denied that Trump was reconsidering his meeting with Kim, saying, "I don't think the president gets cold feet about anything", to reporters at the White House Monday".
"President Moon intends to make a fine-tuning of a road map to North Korea's denuclearization with President Trump", Moon Chung-in, a professor at Yonsei University's Institute of Unification Studies, said by email.
North Korea rips 'denuclearization' narrative from Trump with flashy, probably meaningless test-site destruction
State media unleashed three strongly worded commentaries slamming Seoul and Washington for the maneuvers and demanding Seoul take action against defectors it claimed were sending anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets across the border.
Meanwhile, a group of journalists from the UK, US, Russia and China has flown in to North Korea from Beijing to cover the ceremony marking the dismantling of the country's nuclear test site later this week.
Moon Jae-in jets into Washington on a mission to salvage a rare diplomatic opening between the U.S. and North Korea that is in trouble nearly before it begins. "I want this to happen, and North Korea to be VERY successful, but only after signing!" Pyongyang insists the precondition for denuclearization is for the U.S.to end its "hostile policy".
"It's a well-thought, long-planned, deliberate game plan of North Korea, aimed so that it remains a nuclear weapon power", said Cheon. Eight years later he was killed at the hands of Western-backed rebels.
"It may not work out for June 12", Trump told reporters during an Oval Office photo opp with Moon. Even so, Vice President Mike Pence raised Libya again in a serious of tweets Monday.
The coin, which was struck by the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), bears Trump and Kim's profiles and opposing USA and North Korean flags under the heading "Peace Talks", Agence France-Presse reports.
The US has demanded that North Korea denuclearize in more concrete ways, like by sending missiles and nuclear devices overseas for irreversible dismantlement, but that doesn't seem to have gone down well with Pyongyang.