From the Overview: "United States-North Korea diplomacy to curb North Korea's nuclear and missile programs has been stalled since February 2019, and observers see little chance for progress in the coming months. In June 2020, tension increased on the Korean Peninsula, when the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea's official name) turned more belligerent, blowing up an inter-Korean liaison office inside North Korea and threatening to interfere in upcoming U.S. elections, among other moves. Since President Donald Trump first agreed in March 2018 to hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to discuss North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, the Trump Administration has emphasized the importance of developing a strong leader-to-leader relationship. The strategy appears to presume better results than the working-group negotiations employed by previous administrations. Trump and Kim have held three meetings: in Singapore (June 2018); Hanoi (February 2019); and Panmunjom (June 2019). The personal diplomacy defused the U.S.-DPRK hostility that had developed in 2017, raising alarms that war could break out on the Korean Peninsula. The diplomacy also has helped preserve North Korea's self-imposed moratoria on nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile tests. Despite Kim's 2018 pledge to denuclearize, President Trump's approach to North Korea has been called into question by the absence of progress in negotiations, the DPRK's renewed hostility, allegations of sanctions-busting trade, and Pyongyang's continued enhancements to its military capabilities."
CRS In Focus, IF11415
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/