Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump in Singapore for historic summit

Otherwise, the relationship between the two countries could quickly become fraught with frustration and misunderstandings.

The tone heading into the meetings is positive, but the risk that things will go awry is also very real.

The media reports on the Trump-Kim talks on Monday follow months of only the scantest of coverage, though Kim's summits with South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, and China's president, Xi Jinping, received large-scale coverage soon after they had ended.

That modest vision marks a break with the stratospheric goals he set after he agreed on March 8 to this meeting.

Trump on Monday morning was upbeat: "Great to be in Singapore, excitement is in the air!"

Sung Kim, a veteran diplomat who recently held talks with North Korean officials, led the USA delegation in working level talks on Monday.

Many estimate that China, with its 1.4 billion citizens, will surpass the U.S. in global dominance within Kim's lifetime.

Trump has returned to his hotel after meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee.

On the streets, Kim and Trump impersonators thrilled around 100 fans who paid $10 to take selfies at Bugis Junction mall at the weekend.

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"If we're successful, as we hope the president is in his negotiations to allow for the denuclearization of the peninsula, the department of energy will play a significant if not lead role".

Pompeo has disputed the notion that the president is moving the goalposts, telling reporters that Trump "has always understood that this was a process."

The president is accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo - who has visited Pyongyang twice to prepare for the summit - and National Security Advisor John Bolton, a hardliner on dealing with North Korea. The US president has also raised the possibility of further summits and an agreement ending the Korean War by replacing the armistice signed in 1953 with a peace treaty.

Another question is whether Trump will take up the issue of human rights - with North Korea accused of a host of state-sanctioned rights abuse including extrajudicial killing, torture and kidnapping.

Paul Haenle worries there's a preparation gap that has left Trump - and the US - at a disadvantage. There's a flurry of speculation about what results might come from the summit. North Korean state-run news reported Monday that Mr. Kim was seeking denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in response to a "changed era".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday the "ultimate objective" of a historic summit with North Korea had not changed and the United States was "eager to see" if North Korea was honest about denuclearization.

"We've got a very interesting meeting. tomorrow, and I just think it's going to work out very nicely", Trump said.

The summit has been portrayed as a "get to know you" meeting.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said United States and North Korean officials would hold working-level talks on Monday. However, we'll just have to wait and see how it actually pans out. But any request for the USA to withdraw its 28,000 troops from South Korean bases would likely be rejected. "In reality, what we actually get will likely be a more vague statement only pledging to continue to work together", Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Wilson Center's Asia program, told Newsweek. The newspaper said the vehicles weren't from a local authorized dealer, which suggests the cars were brought in specifically for the summit and may be used by Kim.

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