North Korea tested its most powerful nuclear weapon to date and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles theoretically capable of striking the U.S. mainland. Failure? Or merely the start of another long and hard process meant to remove the North's nuclear capabilities?
"The president has an incredible team", Sanders said, when asked which officials would accompany Trump.
At issue Friday was the nature of what the North Koreans had promised.
South Korean officials who announced Mr. Trump had accepted the request for direct talks said the summit would take place before May. "I think that is actually what put North Korea on a similar stage". The former National Basketball Association star has made multiple trips to North Korea to meet with Kim and is "behind the president 100 percent", said Chris "Vo" Volo, a spokesman. Nearly everywhere, it seems, except North Korea.
In fact hell will freeze over before Mr Kim voluntarily surrenders a capability that his father and grandfather believed would be the ultimate guarantor of their dynasty's survival and which has taken decades and huge sacrifices to construct.
The United States has long said it wanted any talks to aim at Pyongyang abandoning its nuclear weapons and missile programs, but Friday's announcement of a meeting was unexpected. North Korea, though, has yet to provide more details.
South Korea said the President agreed to meet Mr Kim by May, but Ms Sanders said no time and place had been set. "Such meetings have to be well prepared, and the president should have insisted on lower-level exploratory talks that could test North Korea's seriousness before committing to a date". "We have no ambassador in Seoul-not even a nominee-and no senior State Department official charged with overseeing the North Korean nuclear challenge".
Richardson, who has visited the North several times, had some choice words of advice for President Donald Trump about agreeing to a summit with with current leader Kim Jong Un: It's a bold move, but this isn't reality television - get a team and a strategy.
The South Korean official, Chung Eui-yong, spoke with Trump on Thursday after meeting with national security adviser H.R. McMaster and others.
Meanwhile, some members of the local Korean community are cautiously optimistic about the future of the relationship between the USA and North Korea after news of an announced meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in coming months.
When pressed by reporters if that meant that the meeting might not happen after all, Sanders underscored that the onus was on North Korea.
"He was much criticised for rhetoric on North Korea that was viewed as irresponsible and bellicose but it got both North Korea's attention and China's attention".
The meeting could potentially mark a major breakthrough in nuclear tensions with Pyongyang.
President Trump replied by calling Mr Kim a "maniac" and a "madman", and warning he would be "tested like never before". So why the unprecedented encounter between the two leaders after only recently threatening to wipe each other out? But there was no arrangement before George W. Bush's election. "There hasn't been any North Korea-US summit meetings at all and having one after North Korea has already obtained nuclear weapons basically sends a signal that the US is willing to deal with North Korea on that basis", said Zhao Tong, a North Korea expert at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Centre in Beijing.
If the meeting takes place, it would be the first ever between leaders of the two countries.
U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping arrive for a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.