"In the meantime, the Trump administration should continue using the toughest sanctions to maintain maximum pressure before the summit in May".
But this scenario may have been foretold. The images distributed by state news agency, KCNA, certainly show a North Korean leader all smiles.
In a letter delivered by South Korean diplomats yesterday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un invited Mr Trump to talk, and promised to freeze nuclear and ballistic missile testing while negotiations are underway.
"Kim is not inviting Trump so that he can surrender North Korea's weapons", said Jeffrey Lewis, an arms control expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
U.S. officials said Pyongyang had scrapped secretly planned talks at the last minute after Pence denounced abuses from North Korea's "murderous regime".
I forget specifically what it was called, but it was an agreement between the United States and North Korea to make things better between the two countries.
"The administration has to test this with a high bar to see whether North Korea is serious".
He was a strong advocate for diplomatic engagement - rather than threats of war - in dealing with North Korea, but will not now be involved in what once seemed improbable talks. "And I think in the president's judgment, that time has arrived now", he explained. "So I think they are going to secretly send special ambassador to North Korea". North Korea is not giving up its nuclear weapons.
North Korea is one of most isolated countries in world, but its leader, Kim Jong-un, knows perfectly what his worldwide fame is and how he portrays foreign press. North Korea, though, has yet to provide more details. In an unusual gesture of deference, Kim came to greet m personally at door with his sister, Kim Yo-Jong, who in February had traveled south to participate in inauguration of Winter Olympics and brought back a personal message of South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, for his bror.
This week's meeting between Kim and a South Korean delegation in Pyongyang was a first in many ways. "The Country I Saw" was created to justify North Korea's pursuit of weapons to a domestic audience.
The North Koreans "are coming to the table despite the United States making zero concessions and, in close coordination with our allies, we have consistently increased the pressure on the Kim regime", he said.
The latter acknowledgment marked a significant shift for the Kim regime. Instead of concessions, the US has continued to ratchet up the pressure on North Korea, urging it to pursue a path of peace instead of destruction.
However, correspondents say the North has halted missile and nuclear tests during previous talks, only to resume them when it lost patience or felt it was not getting what it demanded.
Explaining Trump's decision-making about the meeting, Tillerson said that the US had witnessed a shift from North Korea that became apparent when a South Korean delegation visited Pyongyang, then traveled to Washington to brief USA officials on the rare meeting. "This is what his father and his grandfather wanted: to be on the same footing as the world's greatest power", Van Jackson, a former Pentagon official who now teaches at Victoria University in New Zealand, told The Washington Post. Nonetheless, Donald Trump has agreed to go this meeting and it is a very bad idea, not just because Donald Trump would be going to North Korea representing the United States and all of the potential dangers that would come along with it for him personally being in North Korea.