The NBA Hall of Famer arrived early Tuesday morning in Singapore, surrounded by a horde of reporters wondering if he's going to meet with the world leaders.
The shift coincides with a shakeup on the president's national security team - the addition of national security adviser John Bolton, who has been candid about his view that the North Koreans will never voluntarily give up their nuclear weapons, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman with a hawkish reputation.
The world now needs to wait for Trump and Kim to finally meet.
Kim Yong-chol is the most senior North Korean official to travel to the United States in almost 20 years and is considered Kim Jong-un's right-hand man. Create peace and great prosperity for his land. "Kim wants recognition for North Korea as a country, recognition for his family's right to rule it as a personal fiefdom and, ultimately, recognition of North Korea's status as a nuclear-armed power", the newspaper writes.
North Korea is different, mysterious, unknown.
Rodman has faced ridicule and criticism for his trips to North Korea, which some US politicians and activists view as serving only as fodder for North Korean propaganda. Yet even before they met, Trump announced plans to leave early, raising questions about whether his aspirations for an ambitious outcome had been scaled back.
A CNN analyst, in a report titled 'Four steps for a successful Trump-Kim summit', highlights how "it is still hard to predict how any summit will go (especially with two unpredictable leaders such as Trump and Kim)".More news: Final Fantasy XV Mod Tools Now Available
Kim smiled as he took a selfie with Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan at the scenic waterfront Gardens by the Bay.
Mr Kim and Mr Trump are staying in separate hotels, not far from each other, and security is high across the area.
This picture taken on June 8, 2018 shows Cho Sung-kwon, a 62-year-old South Korean pensioner - who is hopeful about the Trump-Kim summit, during a street interview with AFP in Seoul.
It's not just the logistics of Kim's trip that are unclear. The president arrived in Asia having blown up relations with US allies - and personally with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - over trade and Russian Federation, announcing via Twitter en route to Singapore that he'd withdraw from a joint agreement covering climate change and other issues.
Trump, asked last week if Rodman had been invited to Singapore, said, "No, he wasn't".
The tour came approximately 12 hours ahead of Kim's summit with U.S. President Donald Trump at Singapore's secluded Sentosa Island. That sibling, Kim Jong Nam, often stayed at the St. Regis when he visited Singapore.
But North Korea now deems itself "a nuclear state", and insists the USA must end its "nuclear threats and blackmail" as a precondition for denuclearization, according to a statement last month from First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan.More news: Rickie Fowler Engaged to Allison Stoke
It's the "changed era" that is important.
Discussions would focus on "the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean peninsula, the issue of realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern", KCNA said. East Coast time - according to the White House. The two will later be joined by officials and have lunch together.
Whatever the results, it will be one of the more unusual summits in recent history as a flamboyant, often erratic United States president gets a close-up look at a hereditary socialist despot who sits on a nuclear weapons programme. They believe Kim's latest engagement is aimed at getting the United States to ease the crippling sanctions that have squeezed the impoverished country.
Kelsey Davenport, director for Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association, said there were signs that the gaps between the two sides were narrowing but there was also risk.
The characteristic displays of pique were a potential distraction from the summit that Trump has hoped to make a legacy-defining moment and that aides and political allies have seen as a welcome break from the Russian Federation investigation and other domestic woes.
"The process could be doomed before it begins". The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea's swift denuclearisation.More news: Vieira quits New York City FC for Nice job