Members of Boston's Korean community were closely watching the historic summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, hoping that the meeting will ease tension on the divided peninsula and contribute to eventual reunification.
But he added: "In the end, that doesn't matter".
Kim is staying at the $9,000-a-night presidential suite at the St. Regis Hotel, while Trump is at the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel.
Trump has taken keen interest in the pageantry of the day, insisting the pictures beamed around the world reflect a commanding leader making a decisive, world-altering move.
Pompeo said Monday the only acceptable outcome of the summit is "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" or dismantlement.
The new year began with another televised address from Kim, this time involving threats of a "nuclear button" on the North Korean leader's desk. Choe is the Vice Foreign Minister for the North Korean Foreign Ministry.
Joseph Yun, former USA envoy for North Korea policy, alluded to that when he told a Senate hearing last week that there's a risk of "overloading the agenda" for the summit. He bounced to the Singapore summit after a tempestuous G-7 summit where the US was isolated from its key European partners as never before and Trump even derided his Canadian host, a paragon of liberal democracy, as "dishonest" and "weak".
"China might have wanted to prevent Chinese smugglers from entering North Korea so they cracked down on smuggling organizations in the border area few days ago and arrested number of smugglers", he said. We have our hostages, testing, research and all missle [sic] launches have stoped [sic], and these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say!
The failure of the six-party talks demonstrates the key problem in negotiating with North Korea: even after getting everything it wanted out of the talks, the country failed to hold up its end of the bargain and resumed a hostile posture and its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Choe, a vice foreign minister, is the highest-level female diplomat in North Korea. Mr Kim is reported to be flying out even earlier, at 14:00 local time (6pm NZT). "If they don't denuclearise, that will not be acceptable", Mr Trump said ahead of the meeting. For his part, Trump has pledged to raise the issue with Kim.
The sides first spoke through intelligence channels, with United States analysts working to determine Kim's true willingness to abandon a nuclear program started by his grandfather and viewed by Pyongyang as a security blanket from outside aggressors.
Close US ally Japan has urged Trump to bring up the decades-old issue of its citizens abducted in 1970s and 1980s to train Pyongyang's spies in Japanese language and customs.
But when it comes to human rights, don't expect Trump to hold Kim Jong Un's feet to the fire at the Singapore summit.
He expressed hope that Trump and Kim would be able to make progress. It's aimed at settling a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.
"We hardly ever talk politics", Rodman said.
That's a massive shift in Kim's public persona, and it might show one of the reasons both Trump and Kim were eager for this meeting to take place: Regardless of what actually happens, global summits can be a pretty big PR boost. President Trump has described it as a "get-to-know-you situation" and said "it's going to be a process". Professor Sung-Yoon Lee from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston says: "I think President Trump is walking right into an elaborate trap set by the North Koreans".