Kim had "committed to denuclearization" and to suspending nuclear and missile tests, Chung said. Failure? Or merely the start of another long and hard process meant to remove the North's nuclear capabilities?
Kim, on the other hand, seems desperate to save a sanctions-battered North Korean economy. "It's a negotiation with an unpredictable leader who has at least 20 nuclear weapons and who threatens the United States", he said. Mr Trump surprised the world on Thursday when he announced, via a South Korean official, that he had agreed to meet Mr Kim. "But nothing he said has been quite as unsettling as his recent tweetstorms about North Korea, his warnings of "fire and fury" and his quip about 'the calm before the storm'". The motto for talks with North Korea should be "proceed with caution". It's a huge gamble, a big risk, but worth taking... Hours before the announcement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had declared that the U.S.is "a long ways from negotiations" with North Korea. This language is virtually identical to a phrase ("the denuclearization of the whole Korean Peninsula") that veterans of negotiations with the North Koreans have heard many times over the years.
The South Koreans, including National Security chief, Chung Eui-yong, had been due to meet with Mr Trump on Friday, when the president invited them and US National Security Adviser, H.R McMaster into the Oval Office for an impromptu debriefing a day early, reported the New York Times.
The details of the president's meeting with the North Korean leader are still being sorted out.
The US and South Korea have postponed joint military exercises during the PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Games.
US President Donald Trump has commended China's role in the North Korean crisis settlement following the phone talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping amid the alleviation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
This came after Washington faced criticism for agreeing to talks that would boost Kim's standing.
While some experts speculate that North Korea might ask for a halt of annual military drills between the United States and South Korea or even the withdrawal of US troops from the Korean Peninsula, Choi said it's meaningful that Kim, at least according to South Korean presidential official Chung Eui-yong, said he understands that the joint military exercises between the allies "must continue". This led to North Korea sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics in the South.
Kim might even free several American citizens now detained in the North to brighten the atmosphere of his summit with Trump, Choi said.
"A breakthrough that would reduce Pyongyang's nuclear threat would be a legacy-defining achievement". Reductions in sanctions and an increase in aid could be part of a plan to step down weapons production-although this is the framework of the nuclear agreement with Iran that Trump has lambasted.
Sometimes, talks fail. Reagan and Gorbachev's hastily arranged arms reduction talks in 1986 failed to produce a deal, but did result in iconic photos of the two leaders smiling together in the final years of the Cold War.
A decade after the fall of the Soviet Union, President George W. Bush famously looked into Russian President Vladimir Putin's eyes.
Trump's move is a sharp departure from 60 years of largely arms-length United States diplomacy when it comes to North Korea, not to mention his own previous bellicose rhetoric against Pyongyang.
DiMaggio, of the Washington-based New America Foundation, directs what's called the "track two" channel of unofficial talks between the USA and North Korea and is one of the few Americans with experience talking to and negotiating with the North. He said one additional issue that could be included in the negotiations is the return of remains of thousands of US soldiers from the Korean War.
"It could be that Kim actually thinks that Trump is going to follow through on the threats", Masker said.
The European Union, Russia and South Korea have welcomed the shift in US-North Korea relations.