A day later, Trump said he had reconsidered, and officials from both countries were meeting to work out details.
Then the summit was off.
"Sending such an experienced and professional team signals that the Trump administration is getting serious about the specifics of an agreement", said former USA deputy assistant secretary of defence for East Asia, Abraham Denmark.
Trump's optimism that the June 12 summit in Singapore will still happen does not mean that it will, however, and even if all sides agreed to whatever it is they need to agree to, there might not be enough time left to get ready. A separate USA team led by White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin and deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel is in Singapore to coordinate logistics.
The State Department said earlier that a team was in Panmunjom, which straddles the border inside the demilitarized zone, or DMZ, separating the North and South Korea.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North Korean leader previously met on Saturday (May 26) to discuss Kim's possible upcoming summit with Trump.
"It looks like there is some chance of a meeting between the USA and North Korea leaders, that would lower the geopolitical risks and lessen the appeal of gold", said John Sharma, an economist with National Australia Bank, adding that a strong dollar was also pressuring prices.
But Mr. Moon also made clear that any steps to dial back Mr. Kim's nuclear capabilities could come with strings attached.
Moon later announced that Kim had reaffirmed his commitment to denuclearization and willingness to meet with Trump. Pentagon official Randall Schriver was part of the United States team, the official said.
Moon on Sunday dodged a question on whether Kim clearly mentioned whether he would agree to the US demand for complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization.
The three-way summit, if held, will likely be aimed at providing a security guarantee for North Korea in exchange for its denuclearisation, Yonhap said.
President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed Monday that it is "imperative" to completely dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program, the White House said. "That hasn't changed. So, we'll see what happens".
"Trump last week had also, for the first time, hinted at the possibility of accepting a "phased-in" disarmament for North Korea". Sung Kim, the former United States ambassador to South Korea who is now ambassador to the Philippines, led that American delegation, a U.S. official told Reuters.
Commenting on this outcome, Lord Hague said: "Kim could say he did his best, divide his opponents including the South Koreans, and relieve the pressure on him from sanctions and at the United Nations while keeping all his warheads".
The meeting would be the culmination of diplomatic efforts that began this year to defuse what had threatened to become a military confrontation between the nuclear-armed communist North and the South. "But he wants to give off this perception that he's this open leader, that he's peaceful, that he's reasonable".
Kim has now separately met Moon and Chinese President Xi Jinping twice in the past three months, and both leaders have pledged to strengthen ties with his regime.