It comes days after President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un held a historic summit in Singapore.
While no guarantees were produced at the summit over how or when Pyongyang would disarm, U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo warned that the USA would resume military exercises with South Korea if the North stops negotiating in good faith.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told reporters afterward that the military drills issue "was not discussed in depth".
"We are going to get complete denuclearisation; only then will there be relief from the sanctions", he said.
The report was interpreted as meaning the U.S. would grant rewards - such as sanctions relief - to North Korea as North Korea take steps to denuclearize, a process which the United States had adamantly opposed. As Trump goes down the line and shakes the hands of Kim and his aides, a North Korean general offers a salute - and Trump returns it.
On Tuesday, Mr Trump and Kim signed a document which stipulates for the denuclearisation of North Korea.
Pompeo was briefing North Asian leaders on the summit, meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in before heading to Beijing to talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).
But North Korea operates one of the most oppressive regimes on Earth, and despite the president's declaration on Wednesday that the country is "no longer a nuclear threat", it is considered a major USA adversary.
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Many, however, remain skeptical of such signing taking place. "I have no idea how that'll play out". The fact of the matter is, we just cut from a different cloth.
The official KCNA news agency ran a glowing dispatch, describing it as an "epoch-making meeting" that would help foster "a radical switchover in the most hostile (North Korea)-US relations".
North Korea still has nuclear weapons. Conservatives said the move displayed weakness from the USA on the world stage. It seemed like the message from the Trump administration had been, you know, the trade in North Korea are linked.
Mr Kim is now promising to work toward a denuclearised Korean Peninsula.
Bob Menendez, the New Jersey senator who is the committee's senior Democrat, criticised Trump for not notifying South Korea and Japan, the two USA allies in the region, before he announced the drills' cancellation. Their intercontinental ballistic missiles have the range to hit the US mainland, though there are still major questions about their accuracy and ability to deliver an in-tact warhead.
Speaking later in the day in Beijing, Pompeo said China, Japan and South Korea all acknowledged a corner had been turned on the Korean peninsula issue, but that all three had also acknowledged sanctions remained in place.
Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was mulling his own summit with Kim in August or September, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, citing several unidentified government officials.
The awkward moment raised some eyebrows because the US and North Korea technically are still at war.