"I'm glad to say that as of now, it's all systems go".
In 1997, Kim and his father left the country in the midst of a four-year-long starvation and economic crisis that some estimates suggest claimed the lives of between 240,000 and 3.5 million North Koreans, out of a population of 22 million.
To achieve this long-held desire he has dramatically shifted in character from isolated angry strongman to worldwide statesman.
Kim Jong Un's motivation for a treaty may be, in part, linked to eventually getting USA troops - 28,500 of them - out of the southern part of the peninsula; many believe that the North sees this as the first step in paving the way for a single Korea ruled by Pyongyang.
Throughout he has controlled the spectacle.
Historically, North Korea hasn't shied away from signing agreements, but in the implementation of the agreements, things fall apart.
"That takes a great deal of work, a great big commitment on the part of North Korea as well, and there'll be a parallel set of security assurances that are also big and bold and different", the top USA diplomat said.More news: F1 Raceweek: Hamilton seeks to match Schumacher - Canadian Grand Prix in numbers
The Lion City this week signalled it would try to stay out of the limelight when the two bombastic leaders meet for their landmark meeting dubbed the "Greatest Show on Earth". And by exploiting that serendipity, he has brought the United States to the table.
At the same time, Trump said there was a "good chance" the meeting would not work out and claimed he would know nearly immediately after the start of talks how the situation would progress. So that could yet swing back again.
With the world's "centre of gravity" in terms of power and influence moving towards Asia, Singapore is likely to begin sharing the stage with Switzerland and Norway as neutral places for diplomatic arbitration, said Oh, the foreign policy observer.
"The minimum would be relationship", Trump said of his goals for the meeting.
And then he did.
What can we expect from the summit?
He previously also made an appearance at the Winter Olympics in Gangneung in South Korea in February, bewildering North Korean cheerleaders who initially thought their leader had walked into a hockey stadium.
The Trump administration is hoping that the talks will jump-start a process that eventually sees Kim give up his nuclear weapons. North Korea has previously used the term to demand the US pull thousands of troops out of South Korea and end its so-called "nuclear umbrella" agreement to protect South Korea, which lacks nukes. The president appeared exhausted and subdued, and he demeaned the press corps, calling some USA news outlets "unbelievably dishonest" and "fake news" before aides pulled him away to start his journey to Southeast Asia. This fraught dividing line is also where a desperate North Korean soldier was shot five times a year ago as he made a mad dash on foot away from his former comrades in a successful bid to defect to the South.More news: Apple is launching FaceTime group chats for up to 32 people
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.
The Chinese leader's role is the most opaque. Four years later, Pyongyang announced its intention to quit the NPT, prompting a dialogue with Washington. A second trip followed soon after. We did not vote [on the issue], but it has been discussed.
One week after the leaders smiled over tea in Dalian, Pyongyang returned to old form, lobbing blistering attacks at the US.
Exactly what hand Mr Xi is playing isn't clear.
He went on to say that the objective of the summit would "be more meaningful with Russian Federation". "Can you believe that we're talking about the ending of the Korean War?"
"The U.S. press is very dishonest", Trump said.
Ruled for seven decades by the Kim family, North Korea has been a murderous dictatorship since its inception.More news: Belmont Stakes 2018 victor , payouts: Win, place, show, trifecta and superfecta results