In the year that has passed since the historic first U.S.-North Korea nuclear summit in Singapore, ASEAN countries have become unwilling to get tough on the hermit state, with some eyeing economic benefits from Pyongyang in the future.

The 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have been trying to improve ties with North Korea as the risk of Pyongyang engaging in a military conflict with Washington declines, giving a boost to regional stability.

A few companies in ASEAN are paying closer attention to North Korea's economic potential and are exporting goods there to deepen ties, even though that would constitute a violation of U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions.