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"We are actively preparing for the June 12 summit between the president and the North Korean leader", White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said.

President Trump has wanted the meeting to pressure Pyongyang into giving up its nuclear weapons in return for relief from economic sanctions.

Critics have started invoking the Iran nuclear deal that Trump recently exited as a cautionary tale.

But with Capella Hotel being announced as the official summit venue by the White House, it is now likely instead that one of the two leaders will be staying at Shangri-La Hotel.

Kim has completely changed his tone towards the USA, which he threatened to destroy with a series of missile strikes previous year.

The Trump administration hopes the Singapore summit will bring clear pledges from Kim to being rolling back the country's nuclear program.

North Korea has publicly bristled at US officials' insistence that it must agree to disarm before receiving anything in return, instead calling for a step-by-step approach to ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons.

The JoongAng Ilbo reported last month that Xi promised Kim in their Dalian summit active support for North Korea even if the North-U.S. summit does not turn out well. And if you remember that the comedian who invented the Pen Pineapple Pen earworm was on show at the state dinner when Mr Trump visited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan, it really does seem within the realms of plausibility.

On Tuesday, former senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar briefed Trump and Pence on their lessons learned co-sponsoring a law aimed at securing and dismantling nuclear weapons after the fall of the Soviet Union. Given this situation, the USA government needs to work on the human rights issues in order to conclude treaties requiring congressional approval and promote other matters. US negotiators have continued to meet with their North Korean counterparts in the Korean Peninsula's demilitarized zone to hammer out the agenda for the meeting.

A recent study from Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation, however, suggests that a complete denuclearization would require 10 years or more to achieve. And it was left to his vice president, Mike Pence, to elevate the issue during a February trip to the region. "So for North Korea, for a tiny country which is technically still at war with the U.S., for their leader to sit down with a president is huge deal", Jean H. Lee, a North Korea expert at the US-based Wilson Center, told CNN. He invited a North Korean defector to Congress, and harshly criticized the North Korean regime as a "cruel dictatorship".

"In return, the United States seems to be offering to accept more of the North's demands such as declaring an end to the Korean War and taking a step-by-step approach in the denuclearization process", he said.

The president is determined to walk out of the meeting if it doesn't go well, two officials said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Announcing the sanctions, the USA accused North Korea of cruelty and hardship, "including extrajudicial killings, forced labor and torture".

The White House, State Department, CIA and Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not immediately respond to requests for official comment.