"I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people", Trump said.
"The DPRK gets a bad reputation particularly as a result of the western media and what they say on TV". Here are four scenarios. It's never going to be there again. This fraught dividing line is also where a desperate North Korean soldier was shot five times previous year as he made a mad dash on foot away from his former comrades in a successful bid to defect to the South.
Throughout he has controlled the spectacle.
"But It depends on what they're talking about it and it depends on their willingness to take time and work around the periphery and ultimately to get to the really hard cards in the pack; human rights and nuclear weapons".
A woman walks past a cannon barrel stuffed with flowers in a symbolic gesture of peace at Fort Siloso in Singapore, as preparations continue for Tuesday's Trump-Kim summit.More news: How to get help for someone who might be suicidal
But in their joint appearance, the mercurial USA president also displayed his instinct to make the sensitive, technical diplomatic effort into a dramatic world-stopping event. And by exploiting that serendipity, he has brought the USA to the table.
The Korean conflict is multi-sided, with peninsular, global (nuclear), and regional dimensions, and all sides must move in tandem if a real resolution is to be achieved. He says it is his "maximum pressure" approach that enabled a breakthrough that his successors could not.
That makes him optimistic that the talks between Mr Trump and Mr Kim will produce lasting change.
And then he did.
The US President is confident an agreement will be made.More news: Ghanaian government to shut down Football Association
North Korea has a reputation for pocketing rather than reciprocating unilateral concessions.
The leaders meet on Tuesday on the resort island of Sentosa and talks are expected to centre on ending the North's nuclear weapons and missiles programmes in return for diplomatic and economic incentives.
Rodman has faced ridicule and criticism for his trips to North Korea, which some USA politicians and activists view as serving only as fodder for North Korean propaganda. (South Korea Presidential Blue House/Yonhap via AP) Kristof credits the South Korean president for deftly handling both sides.
4. Will Trump offer or accept a reduced U.S. commitment to the defense of South Korea?
The wheels have not stopped spinning - from his first meeting with Mr Kim to the surprise one a month later - and nor outwardly has his optimism.
With a riverside view that looks directly over North Korea, the 2,400-unit project by Singaporean developer Brothers (Holdings) Ltd broke ground in 2008 but saw annual sales of less than a hundred units in the last five years as China's neighbor grew more focused on its nuclear program.More news: Trump, Trudeau swap jokes but hold firm in trade dispute
The Chinese leader's role is the most opaque.