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The disclosure of the alleged offshore transfer comes as preparations for an expected summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared to be in their final stages.

"If the US-North Korean summit would be held without sufficient preparations and ending up in major failure, then it's going to be a huge cost which will have to be borne by all of the countries in this region". Shortly afterward, however, the United States president said that he was still open to the meeting with the North Korean leader.

Differences between Washington and Pyongyang led Mr. Trump to cancel the summit in a letter to counterpart Kim Jung Un before diplomatic efforts were renewed in the past week.

Pompeo talks with Kim Yong Chol - the most critical of three tracks of negotiations now taking place between the two governments in the US, in the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone, and in Singapore - are aimed at determining whether a meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un, originally scheduled for June 12 but later cancelled by Trump, can be restored.

"The order was to make thorough counter-plans against the enemies' pretentious peace strategy while people and cadres are thinking about whether the current situation has already brought peace", he said.

The demolition was published in state media last week, but the actions taken were initially met with skepticism, Daily NK reported Saturday.

Activist Kim Young-hwan speaks at a symposium on North Korean human rights in Seoul on May 31, 2018.

The source also noted that the statement says: "In order to become a world power that no other countries can attempt to attack, we need to maintain the achievements that we have earned by tightening our belt and continue the decades of years of hard work of our past generations".

In April, the U.N. Security Council blacklisted dozens of ships and shipping companies over oil and coal smuggling by North Korea, including five based in China. I believe they will be coming down to Washington on Friday.

Ship-to-ship transfers between North Korean ships and those of other United Nations member states are prohibited by a Security Council resolution adopted last September in response to North Korea's nuclear weapon and ballistic missile testing.

Reported by Myungchul Lee for RFA's Korean Service.