Trump pushed back on criticism that giving the North Korean leader a meeting with an American president is a major concession with nothing of value in return.
Trump was the oldest U.S. president ever to take office when he was sworn in a little over 500 days ago, and will turn 72 on Thursday.
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 denuclearisation". Nevertheless, one side has begun in earnest, making the right noises.
"This is a leader who is really an unknown personality", Trump said.
While he famously attended school in Switzerland, traveling this far as supreme leader is an entirely different matter for someone used to being the most revered, most protected, most deferred to human in his country of 25 million. That is reserved for his grandfather, the North's founder Kim Il Sung, despite his death in 1994.
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Both grew up in luxury, went into the family business and have appointed trusted relatives to key positions.
After Kim met South Korean leader Moon Jae-in on April 28, many in Seoul remarked on the North Korean leader's curious "Swiss-influenced" Korean accent, and also how at ease he looked with his southern counterpart.
KCNA noted that the summit meeting is the first in history between the two countries and will be held "under the great attention and expectation of the whole world".
Trump's father Frederick Christ Trump was a self-made property developer.
"This would bring us a step closer to reunification", she said.
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When asked upon landing in Singapore how he was feeling about the encounter, Trump gave a brief answer: "Very good".
Kim recently appointed a new director of the military's powerful General Political Bureau described as a "highly trusted" lieutenant, and has established his authority over both the ruling Workers' Party and the military by ruthlessly purging potential rivals.
The state media workers caused quite a splash themselves.
The talks come after a year of surging tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals that saw Kim ramp up the development of his weapons programs as the two leaders traded a series of pointed personal barbs - as well as threats of war - at one another.
USA officials traveling with the president - as well as analysts - have acknowledged the risk that even the smallest of perceived slights by either side could prompt one of the leaders to instantly call it all off.
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Pompeo has maintained that complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization is the "only outcome" acceptable to the USA and that the Trump administration hopes ultimately to reach an agreement with the North Koreans that it can submit to Congress "so that when administrations do change, as they inevitably do, and this one will ... that Chairman Kim will have comfort that American policy will continue down the same path".
"I think I'll know pretty quickly whether or not, in my opinion, something positive will happen".
"I think the minimum would be a relationship".
In addition to nuclear weapons, a long handshake could be high on the agenda in Singapore.
For his part, Trump accused the summit host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, of lying, and threatened to end trade with G-7 nations that he said use unfair practices.
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Some pundits have expressed concern that Trump will expect the summit to be an easy victory instead of the beginning of a sustained and arduous diplomatic process.