The US president now says he still hopes to meet Kim in Singapore on June 12 and pressure him to give up his nuclear weapons, although he conceded on Thursday that might require more rounds of direct negotiations.
But his comments Thursday come at a sensitive moment, when a senior North Korean official was in NY for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the planned summit. Shortly afterwards, American officials met with their counterparts from Pyongyang on the border between South and North Korea, in an attempt to resume preparations for the Trump-Kim summit.
Trump views a summit as a legacy-defining opportunity to make the nuclear deal that has evaded others, but he pledged to walk away from the meeting if he believed the North wasn't serious about discussing dismantling its nuclear program.
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A little less than a week later, reporters asked Mr Trump about his wife's whereabouts. Her absence prompted outlandish theories about where she was and what she was doing.
North Korea is estimated to have more than a dozen nuclear weapons. He delivered a letter from Kim Jong-un to Trump.
In Pyongyang, Kim said his will to see denuclearisation on the peninsula remained "unchanged, consistent and fixed" and hoped improved North Korea-US relations would be solved on a "stage-by-stage" basis.
Cho Myoung Gyon, the South Korean unification minister, warned this week that "significant" differences remain between the USA and North Korea on how to achieve denuclearization.
The visit marks the second time in history a North Korean official has visited the White House.
"It went very well", Trump told reporters.
Eighteen years ago, then-President Bill Clinton hosted a top North Korean military official in the Oval Office to receive a letter from Kim Jong Un's father - Kim Jong Il.
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Kim Yong Chol spent more than an hour in the Oval Office where he was spotted shaking hands with the president.
Tensions between the United States of America and North Korea flared after US Vice President Mike Pence compared the North Korea situation to Libya, provoking a furious reply from the Kim regime.
After exchanging threats and insults since Trump became president past year, the United States and North Korea have been trying to set up the summit between their leaders.
Despite the upbeat messaging in the United States, Kim Jong Un, in a meeting with Russia's foreign minister on Thursday, complained about the USA trying to spread its influence in the region, a comment that may complicate the summit. "That I can tell you".
"We are meeting with the Chairman (Kim Jong-un) on June 12 (in Singapore)".
This Reuters photo shows Kim Yong-chol, a vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, arriving at his hotel in NY on May 30, 2018.
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He was likely granted a temporary waiver to travel to NY, and further approval would be required to travel to Washington. "It's hard to envision a scenario, in which Kim Jong-un would be satisfied with any security guarantees that the U.S. might offer in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons", he said.