South Korea was expected to be the setting for historic talks between Pyongyang and Washington -- on the sidelines of the Winter Olympics.
High-ranking officials from the Northern peninsula however, abruptly backed out only hours ahead of that meeting.
The two adversaries - represented by Vice President Mike Pence and Kim Jung Un''s only sister - had been planning to address the secretive state''s contentious nuclear programme.
Dr Lassina Zerbo of the CTBTO, a UN organisation created to police the world for any sign of nuclear tests, tells France 24 he’s still hopeful of a détente.
North Korea Crisis: UN official says is hopeful of Seoul-Pyongyang rapprochement