In June 2018 the US President and North Korean leader met for their first summit (Picture: PA).
North Korea's top envoy is in Washington to hold talks aimed in laying the groundwork for a second summit between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, according to US officials.
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to meet North Korean negotiator Kim Yong Chol at a Washington hotel on Friday.
While neither the US nor North Korea has announced the meetings, it is likely to be followed by Kim Yong Chol visiting the White House, where he could meet with Mr Trump, according to two officials.
Kim Yong Chol arrived in Beijing on Thursday and was booked on a flight to the US, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.
Mr Trump has spoken several times on holding a second summit with Mr Kim early this year and has exchanged multiple letters with the North Korean leader - despite little tangible progress on a vague denuclearisation agreement reached at their first meeting in Singapore last June.
Since then, several private analysts have published reports detailing continuing North Korean development of nuclear and missile technology.
At a conference of US diplomats at the State Department on Wednesday, vice president Mike Pence acknowledged the lack of progress.
He called the Trump-Kim dialogue "promising" but stressed that "we still await concrete steps by North Korea to dismantle the nuclear weapons that threaten our people and our allies in the region".
A planned meeting between Mr Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol in New York last November was called off abruptly. US officials said at the time that North Korea had cancelled the session.
A White House official, while not confirming plans for Friday's meeting, said "a lot of positive things" are happening related to North Korea's denuclearisation.
The official said Mr Trump and Kim Jong-un had established a "good relationship" and that US-North Korea conversations were continuing.
The official said the two sides were "working to make progress" on the denuclearisation goal and that Mr Trump "looks forward to meeting Chairman Kim again at their second summit at a place and time yet to be determined".
After the US President met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last June, Mr Trump declared: "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea."