President Donald Trump shakes hands as he meets Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ahead of a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Monday, June 11, 2018, in Singapore. For the North, Kim Jong Un has already won a huge propaganda bonus by merely having the summit and sitting down as an equal with the US president, an accomplishment his father and grandfather sought but could never realize.
Donald Trump has chose to leave his historic summit with Kim Jong-un 15 hours earlier than expected, flying back to Washington on Tuesday night instead of Wednesday morning.
Trump made the remarks at a working lunch with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the presidential palace Istana after their bilateral meeting during which the two leaders discussed everything from the summit preparations to the US' tariff threats.
"When I woke up this morning, I saw the news in the newspaper that our respected marshal went to Singapore for the North Korea-US summit", said Han Il-gwang, a Pyongyang resident, displaying typical discretion.
Mr Trump travelled to Singapore from Canada, where he met other world leaders.
Another possibility from the summit is a deal to end the Korean War, which North Korea has long demanded, presumably, in part, to get U.S. troops off the Korean Peninsula and, eventually, pave the way for a North Korean-led unified Korea.
At the same time, Trump stressed that Washington would not accept Pyongyang's refusal to denuclearize.
The political consequences of the summit have not been lost on Trump or his allies.
Pope Francis has prayed that the summit this week between the USA and North Korean leaders succeeds in laying the groundwork for peace.
One top Trump adviser cast the move as a show of strength before the Kim meeting.
"We can not only rely on the North Korea-U.S. dialogue for the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and the end to the hostile relationship between the two".
Pompeo did say the United States is "prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique that America has been willing to provide previously".
On Sunday, however, KCNA detailed Kim's departure from Pyongyang, where senior officials saw him off in an official ceremony.
The talks were advancing faster than expected but were still ongoing with little more than 12 hours to go before Kim Jong Un sits down with Donald Trump, Pompeo told reporters. Kim spent the day mostly out of view - until he left his hotel for a late-night tour of Singapore sights, including the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, billed as the world's biggest glass greenhouse.
The summit's venue is the Capella hotel on Sentosa, a resort island off Singapore's port with luxury hotels, a Universal Studios theme park and man-made beaches. The first is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, or 9 p.m. Monday EDT.
The official said Trump and Kim would hold a one-on-one meeting on Tuesday that could last up to two hours. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about internal deliberations and insisted on anonymity.
In April, weird footage emerged of 12 smartly dressed bodyguards running alongside Kim's limousine as he left a meeting with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in.
It was a striking about-face from less than a year ago, when Trump was threatening "fire and fury" against Kim, who in turn scorned the American president as a "mentally deranged USA dotard".