North and South Korea agreed on Friday to hold their first talks in more than two years, hours after Seoul and Washington decided to defer joint military exercises which always infuriate Pyongyang until after the Winter Olympics.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned the United States Monday he has a "nuclear button" on his table but offered an apparent olive branch to South Korea in a New Year message, saying he was prepared for talks and may send a team to the Winter Olympics there.
The US submitted a new North Korean sanctions resolution to the UN Security Council, toning down its demands less than 24 hours before a vote due Monday, diplomats said, as it sought to bring China and Russia on board.
North Korea said Sunday it had tested a hydrogen bomb which it can mount on a missile, declaring "perfect success" in its biggest-ever nuclear detonation and presenting a potent challenge to President Donald Trump.
Despite global sanctions over its weapons programs, North Korea's economy grew at the fastest pace in 17 years thanks to a jump in exports and increased production in mining and other industries, the South's central bank said Friday.
Two US supersonic bombers conducted live-fire drills on Saturday in South Korea in a show of force following North Korea's test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the South's military said.