But it was only Monday morning in North Korea that the government news agency reported that Kim was in Singapore, had met with the prime minister and would meet Trump on Tuesday. Trump wrote on Twitter before departing the Shangri La hotel. Seoul says improved inter-Korean relations are important because Pyongyang wouldn't be willing to give up its nuclear weapons unless it feels its security has been assured.
This summit, which was earlier expected to be about talks around North Korean denuclearisation, may now be just about the two leaders "meeting each other" as was said by Trump in a press conference at Charlevoix in Quebec where the G7 summit took place.
Led by Sung Kim, a longtime State Department diplomat who now serves as the US ambassador to the Philippines, the USA team had held at least five sessions with the Pyongyang delegation over the past two weeks at the demilitarized zone in Korea.
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.
At their summit in April Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to seek a peace treaty and Trump mused earlier this month: "Can you believe we're talking about the ending of the Korean War?"
Since then, the path to the summit has been rocky, with Mr Trump at one point calling it off completely.
Even if Kim offers only "a fine-sounding rhetorical commitment, and maybe a few missile surrendered or some site closures", he said, Trump will "market this thing as something extraordinary for his voters back home".
He accepted the invitation from President Halimah Yacob to make a state visit to Singapore in November, in conjunction with the 6th Asean-US Summit and 13th East Asia Summit.
Even after touching down in Singapore, it was clear that the trade disputes with USA allies in Quebec continued to rankle Trump.
Olivia Enos, policy analyst with the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, said "a successful summit would move beyond mere statements about denuclearization".
Kim is set to meet Tuesday with Trump in what's shaping up to be one of the most unusual summits in modern history.
Kim Jong-un will discuss a "permanent. peace-keeping mechanism" with US President Donald Trump when they meet on Tuesday, North Korea says.
Kim arrived on an Air China jet, NPR's Elise Hu reports.
When Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited the global media center for the summit at F1 Pit Building on Sunday, he said it will cost the city state "around 20 million Singaporean dollars" (W16.1 billion, US$1=W1,078) to host the "historic summit".
Kim has made two visits to meet Xi since March, while a high-level delegation from his ruling Workers' Party toured China's industrial hubs in an 11-day visit in May that focused on China's high-tech urban transport and latest scientific breakthroughs. He has also raised the possibility of further summits.
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