It's a twist on the typical pattern on the Korean Peninsula, where North Korean state media frequently issue reports about leader Kim Jong Un observing missile tests that it says are needed to combat South Korean and USA hostility.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday (June 18) that U.S. diplomats have held discussions for more than a year with North Korea's top nuclear negotiator, focused on freeing American prisoners.
A coroner hasn't reached a conclusion about the cause of death for a 22-year-old American college student who died in Cincinnati less than a week after he was released from North Korea in a coma.
"I don't think it's appropriate for the U.S. to just give China a list of Chinese companies to punish", said Lu Chao, director of the Border Study Institute at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, situated in the province that borders North Korea. His family asked the local coroner not to perform an autopsy.
China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi and Fang Fenghui, chief of joint staff to the Chinese military, are also present at the summit in Washington.
In a statement through the foundation Tuesday, John and Diane Foley, of New Hampshire, called Otto Warmbier's death senseless.
Meanwhile, Warmbier's sudden decline continues to raise questions.More news: Thousands turn out for funeral for student jailed in N Korea
Like past presidents, Trump is finding the US has limited scope for punishing North Korea, particularly over the arrest of USA citizens.
While China has taken some steps - including halting coal purchases this year after Kim's estranged half brother was murdered in Malaysia - its efforts haven't produced a breakthrough so far.
Doctors there said they found no traces of active botulism, a toxin that can cause nerve injury. Trump appeared to acknowledge as much in a tweet Wednesday, a day after Warmbier's death.
He says the student, Otto Warmbier, had gone there a healthy man and ended up dead after "a minor act of mischief". You're not going home anytime soon.
He said Warmbier's death shows "we must now have the perception that North Korea is an irrational regime", but that dialogue with the North is still needed because sanctions and pressure haven't resolved the North Korea nuclear issue.
"As an American, I feel extremely fortunate that we are able to travel around the world".
"I believe China is making efforts to stop North Korea from making additional provocations, yet there are no tangible results as of yet", the new South Korean president was quoted as saying in an interview with Reuters.
His family and others have blamed North Korea for his condition. China has pressured South Korean businesses via boycotts and bans, such as ending Chinese group tours to South Korea and closing most of South Korean conglomerate Lotte Group's Lotte Mart retail stores in China.
This handout photo obtained courtesy of the Warmbier family shows mourners at Wyoming High School in Wyoming, Ohio, on June 22, 2017, as they attend the funeral for Otto Warmbier.