The North has presented Kim's sudden diplomatic overtures to the country's neighbours and the United States as a logical next step and completion of his plan to develop a credible nuclear deterrent in response to what Pyongyang says is a policy of "nuclear blackmail" by Washington. That's a sign he's confident about his grip on power back home.
On May 30, Pompeo met with North Korean spy chief Kim Yong-chol in NY; their discussion concluded two hours earlier than expected, as Kim refused to make any commitment whatsoever on denuclearization, according to the Washington Post.
Turns out, North Korea's Dear Leader is not staying at the Fullerton Hotel as initially posited by The Washington Post.
Watch our comprehensive coverage of the Trump-Kim summit live on YouTube from 7am on Tuesday (Jun 12).
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Kim spent the day mostly out of view - until he left his hotel for a late-night tour of Singapore sights, including the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, billed as the world's biggest glass greenhouse. But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea's swift denuclearisation.
The two leaders have had an extraordinary up-and-down relationship over the past 18 months.
Kim was accompanied at the meeting by vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Kim Yong Chol, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the WPK Ri Su Yong, and Colonel General No Kwang Chol - one of the three promoted in a recent North Korean military shakeup.
Although gaps remain over what denuclearisation would entail, Trump sounded a positive note in a lunch meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee. In an op-ed, the Associated Press has expressed doubts that Kim "would fully relinquish his nuclear arsenal, which he may see as the guarantor of his survival". By contrast, Pompeo did suggest that the US was prepared to make unspecified concessions to North Korean security concerns before the total dismantling of its nuclear program was achieved.
Trump, after meeting recently with a North Korean envoy at the White House, said the summit will likely be part of "a process".
Yet the top United States diplomat added Trump is ready to offer "unique" guarantees to ease the regime's concerns about giving up a nuclear arsenal that provides a deterrent against foreign adversaries while also serving as a key point of national pride.