UN welcomes planned Trump-Kim meeting

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Japan shocked to be left out in cold by Trump on North Korea

Additionally, North Korea expressed a willingness to hold talks with the United States, as well as to pause all nuclear tests and missile launches during the negotiations. China says it "firmly opposes" U.S. President Donald Trump's tariff increase for imported steel and aluminum but gave no indication whether Beijing might impose its own measures in response.

In worldwide diplomacy, the leader-to-leader meeting is the highest level of commitment available. It is questionable whether Kim's verbal message alone - relayed by the special delegation - can be regarded as consent to talks toward denuclearization. "It's a negotiation with an unpredictable leader who has at least 20 nuclear weapons and who threatens the United States".

Japanese government officials shared the concern of their US counterparts that "dialogue for dialogue's sake was meaningless".

"Is there a possibility that these talks with North Korea with Kim Jong-Un may not happen?"

There has been limited reaction from Kim's regime, but South Korean President Moon Jae-in said news of the summit - announced by his national security advisor on a visit to Washington - was "like a miracle". The North Koreans could agree to a nuclear testing freeze and stop conducting the missile tests that threaten their neighbors. "We know that it has put a tremendous amount of pressure on North Korea", she said. If it is not willing to contemplate cuts in US forces, what incentive other than aid is left for Pyongyang? "So that achieves North Korea's first objective, even if there's no progress at all in terms of what they discuss at the summit", Zhao said.

"What we don't want to do is get trapped in a situation, a high-level negotiation where we're not prepared, where we don't have our best negotiators forward", Richardson, a North Korea expert, told CNN.

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She did not say what level of tariffs the European Union would set, leaving it unclear what the economic impact would be. President Donald Trump's proposed trade tariffs are "a bad call".

Making Kim take these steps is extremely hard.

"China will advocate the worldwide security mechanism and help prevent North Korea from being deceived or squeezed by the USA once it begins to denuclearize", widely read tabloid the Global Times wrote in an editorial.

North Korea, which took the obstinate stance of "not complying with any denuclearization talks", has shifted to a policy of promoting dialogue.

"No action by this administration has even remotely demonstrated a level of rise that the media did during the Olympics and through some of those stories", Sander continued.

The subsequent Bush administration, including hawks like Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney scotched efforts by Colin Powell's State Department to follow up the Clinton diplomacy. The North has also, according to the US, repeatedly cheated on past nuclear deals.

Despite the U.S. leader's optimistic Tweet, the White House stressed that the USA would continue to keep "maximum pressure" on Pyongyang. Joseph Yun, the USA special representative for North Korea and one of America's most experienced North Korea experts, recently retired. There are also few US government officials with experience of negotiating with Pyongyang. The president needs to assemble a team and a coherent strategy. What is more, Trump has few North Korea experts to support him as he prepares for the meeting. And above all, what effect will the summit have on the struggle for military and political leadership in Asia as a rising China seeks to supplant the United States?

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Abe will visit the United States in early April at the earliest to confer with Trump.

"We've got to be properly prepared and we can not underestimate Kim Jong Un". All the images, evidence and analyses of the nuclear activity come as the North's programme for missile development has entered an unusual period of inactivity.

Former advisor to both Republican and Democratic secretaries of state Aaron David Miller told VOA the Trump administration now lacks the experts on North Korea to prepare for direct talks.

Trump let advisers Cohn and Peter Navarro, who stood on opposite sides of the issue, debate tariffs for weeks, at times contentiously.

The North's most recent firing was more than three months ago.

Mr Trump threatened "fire and fury" if Pyongyang continued to threaten the USA only for North Korea to carry out its sixth nuclear test.

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