As the world waits with bated breath for the confirmation of the meeting between President Trump and Kim, it is clear that not everyone shares the view that achieving long-lasting peace is the best solution between two countries which just a year earlier had the world at the mercy of a red button.
The Pentagon announced it would invest an extra $200m in the Lockheed Martin's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system previously criticised by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. It is also a major tourist destination and visitors can technically cross into North Korea inside the buildings.
A summit in Beijing could risk giving Xi too much influence - China regards the North as very much part of its backyard - and the right to claim credit if a deal is reached. Foreign minister Ri Yong Ho went to Stockholm, and Helsinki hosted unofficial talks between USA experts and North Korean delegates - something Norway also did previous year.
The existence of a US military in South Korea has been a point of tension with some 28,500 troops stationed in the country since the 1950's Korean War.
US President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, paid a secret visit to Pyongyang over the Easter weekend to hammer out details of a planned summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. "All they are talking about is the end of hostile policies against North Korea, followed by a guarantee of security".
Speaking at the United Nations past year, Trump mentioned the story of Megumi, who he said was kidnapped at age 13 while playing on the beach and forced to become "a language tutor for North Korea's spies". "And it is not making demands that the US can not accept, such as the withdrawal of the USA forces in Korea", he said, according to the JoongAng Ilbo, one of South Korea's biggest papers and one that had a representative at the lunch.
At the end of the day, there is a shift in rhetoric, but what North Korea means by denuclearization and what the United States has in mind are likely quite different, experts told us. The summit location must be in a country where North Korea's security interests are assured, the editorial warned.
The Japanese prime minister's popularity - and grip on power - had plummeted back home, because of both a political scandal involving his wife and his constant exclusion from the fast-moving talks concerning the country's biggest security threat, North Korea.
Many analysts believe that Kim sees the meeting with Trump as a way to bestow legitimacy on his own leadership and on a rogue nuclear program that he has built in the face of worldwide criticism and crippling sanctions. But asking whether there are no signs whatsoever that North Korea is willing to take specific steps to dismantle its nuclear program unpacks a lot of telling history. Not especially the North Korean media.
"Maximum pressure should be maintained", Abe said, referring to the economic sanctions the Trump administration has levied on Pyongyang. He's met with the billionaire businessman more than any other world leader, and he is Trump's second-most frequent caller.
Kim Jong-un and the South's President Moon Jae-in are planning to meet face-to-face next Friday at the border truce village of Panmunjom.
"At least this summit will lay the foundation to start sincerest discussions on how to put a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula", Ambassador Kim said.
Analysts said that even if North Korea accepted a USA military presence in the South, it might demand that it be significantly reconfigured and reduced.
The two Koreas will hold what will be their third summit since the 1950-53 Korean War next Friday, with a subsequent meeting planned between Kim and Trump - which would be the first time a sitting USA president had met the North's leader.