President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un shocked Americans and Koreans alike on Friday - Thursday evening in the US - with their agreement to meet at a summit and discuss the denuclearization of North Korea.
The exclusive club expanded to two members as South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong went to Pyongyang to meet with Kim, then came to the White House to brief Trump on Thursday.
The meeting could potentially mark a major breakthrough in nuclear tensions with Pyongyang.
"We have lots of threats, lots of things to get over", Kae Tae-woo, a military expert formerly with the Korea Institute of Defense Analyses, told The Independent. And U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, travelling in Africa, just hours before said the U.S. was "a long ways" from direct talks.
Kevin Martin, president of Peace Action, said, "North Korea is putting virtually all topics of concerns on the table". He considered as Kim's heir until he had a falling out with his father that forced him to live in exile in Macau.
Evans Revere, a former senior State Department official experienced in negotiating with North Korea, warned there is a disconnect between how the North and the U.S. describes "denuclearization" of the divided Korean Peninsula.
Pyongyang's long race to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the continental United States has proved a problem for successive US administrations.
Trump and Kim are completely different, but at the same time paradoxically resemble.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, while confirming Trump's acceptance of Kim's invitation, emphasized that "all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain" in the meantime. "Japan, the US, and South Korea to maintain great pressure". "Time and place to be determined", Trump wrote.
CNN quoted a foreign diplomatic source as saying that South Korean officials had delivered a letter to Trump from Kim.
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The president later told his 48 million followers on Twitter that "great progress" was being made and that a meeting was "being planned".
That is why North Korea has consistently asserted that it would only abandon its nuclear program if the United States were to drop its "hostile policy" - normalization and acceptance of the regime by the United States as an alternative regime survival guarantee to that provided by nuclear weapons.
Moon and Kim have, for their own reasons, snookered the credulous American president into a high-profile summit that is likely to end in disaster one way or another.
Last Thursday, he said that 'talks for the sake of talks are meaningless', but is reported to have spoken to the US president shortly before the 'meeting' was announced. "In this instance, Pyongyang has skillfully played on South Korea's fear of a military strike and hopes of reunification". Chung says Trump said "he would meet Kim Jong Un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula.
Monday's talks with Kim were the culmination of a series of North-South contacts since the beginning of the year.
The UN headquarters in New York is the seat of Trab, and it would again mean that Kim would be stepping on his American foot.
China, North Korea's main financial backer.
But conservative columnist Max Boot, a never-Trumper, thinks Trump is getting played [WaPo]: "Now, in a head-snapping display of incoherence, Trump has agreed to meet Kim, giving the worst human-rights abuser on the planet, what he most wants: international legitimacy".
"I'm pretty sure he's happy at the fact that I'm over here trying to accomplish something that we both need", Rodman said then, according to CNN. North Korea uses this to advance its nuclear and missile programs.
"Do you believe that North Korea's recent willingness to talk is sincere?"
Analysts say the DPRK's passing of an "olive branch" to the United States reveals its intention to relieve its isolation in the international community and to ease domestic economic difficulties caused by sanctions.