But the president downplayed expectations for a quick deal on Pyongyang giving up its nuclear weapons, saying such an agreement won't be signed in Singapore, and the meeting will serve as the start of a process. The announcement puts back on track a high-risk summit that could be a legacy-defining moment for the American leader, who has matched his unconventional deal-making style with the mercurial Kim government.
"Any discussion about the number of USA troops in the Republic of Korea is subject to the Republic of Korea's invitation to have them there, and the discussions between the United States and the Republic of Korea, separate and distinct from the negotiations that are going on with DPRK", said Mr Mattis during a question-and-answer segment.
Will something definitive come out of the meeting?
"I asked them, despite all the caveats and some doubts, whether on balance this meeting between the United States and DPRK (North Korea) was positive, and an overwhelming majority thought so", he said. Oh, would you like to see what was in that letter?
"I mean, as you know, nobody can tell anything, authoritatively, about the contents of the letter, unless it's made in public".
"I think you're going to have a very positive result in the end", the president.
White House and State Department officials declined to comment to the Post on the advance team planning details. "I think it'll be a process".
After the meeting, Trump posed for photos with Kim Yong Chol outside the Oval Office, and they talked amiably at Kim's black SUV before he was driven away.
But a particularly awkward logistical issue remains unresolved, according to two people familiar with the talks.
"They want other things along the line".
Trump had responded to North Korea's ballistic missile tests with his "maximum pressure" campaign, leading to sanctions and fiery rhetoric.
"We are going to discuss it prior to the meeting".
Pompeo said that after a series of meetings he believes the talks are going in "the right direction".
When it comes to paying for lodging at North Korea's preferred 5-star luxury hotel, the United States is open to covering the costs, the two people said, but it's mindful that Pyongyang may view a U.S. payment as insulting.
Abe, speaking at a gathering organized by his Liberal Democratic Party's local chapter, also stressed that Japan will not change its stance of keeping pressure on North Korea in collaboration with the worldwide community.
Trump described the letter, hand-delivered by senior North Korean official Kim Yong-chol, as "very nice" before admitting that he hadn't actually read it yet.
Despite the upbeat messaging in the United States, Kim Jong Un, in a meeting with Russia's foreign minister on Thursday, complained about the US trying to spread its influence in the region, a comment that may complicate the summit.