PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of - With all the worldwide attention focused on Singapore and the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang must have been buzzing with excitement on the eve of the leaders' arrival, right?
Tuesday's Singapore meeting is the climax of the astonishing flurry of diplomacy on and around the Korean Peninsula this year, but critics charge that it risks being largely a triumph of style over substance. He said that those talks "in fact are moving quite rapidly and will come to a logical conclusion more quickly than anticipated".
It was reported last month that South Korean President Moon Jae-in might join in the talks between Kim and Trump if their summit in Singapore proves successful.
Kim's main concern is the survival of his own regime - South Korean President Moon Jae-in told reporters that the Pyongyang leader had "concerns on whether he could trust that the USA would end its hostile policy and guarantee the security of his regime when the North denuclearises itself".
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Mr. Trump and the entire USA team was looking forward to Tuesday's summit.
During his meeting with Lee, Trump remarked, "We've got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow".
A USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Monday's meeting appeared aimed at making 11th-hour progress ahead of the summit since Sung Kim's earlier talks did little to narrow a gap between the two sides on the definition of denuclearization or win agreement on tangible commitments from Pyongyang toward dismantling its nuclear arsenal.
Trump initially touted the potential for a grand bargain with North Korea to rid itself of a nuclear missile programme that has advanced rapidly to threaten the United States, insisting he would swiftly achieve what previous USA administrations have failed to do.
The North Korean leader reportedly arrived at Changi Airport in Singapore Sunday afternoon, where he was met by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan. The meeting was briefly canceled by Trump.
Kim Yo Jong, leader Kim's younger sister, was also spotted in his delegation. While Kim and his delegation are now staying at the St. Regis Hotel amid heavy security.
He explained that he gave the North Korean official Trump's book, "Art of the Deal", while he was in North Korea.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the White House this week to press Trump once more before the summit on those issues.
Singapore has spent $S20 million hosting the summit, half of that on security costs, with Lee saying it was "in our profound interest" to contribute to such an worldwide endeavour.
The tests culminated in November's test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea said could reach the entirety of the United States.
But there are doubts denuclearisation of North Korea is achievable in the short term.
But as he embarked for Singapore he changed his tune, calling it a "one-time shot" and adding he will know "within the first minute" whether an agreement will be possible.