The summit will occur against a backdrop of detente with North Korea's puppetmaster, China - though the uneasy trade truce could very well collapse between now and then, potentially complicating Trump's negotiations with the Koreans.
Since Kim abruptly announced more than a year ago that he would consider surrendering his nuclear stockpiles, end his anxiety-provoking missile and nuclear tests, and seek an agenda of rapproachment with his southern capitalist neighbors, handing Trump his first major geopolitical "win", intelligence analysts have warned that almost no progress has been made during their periodic negotiations with the Koreans. The North, they have warned, has continued work on its nuclear program - Kim's public shuttering of a nuclear facility last year was merely a charade. And at times, North Korean diplomats have failed to contain their frustrations with the US and warned that they would abandon their commitments unless the US agrees to gradually remove sanctions.
But Trump has brushed aside these concerns. Instead, he has gushed about he and Kim - whom he once derided as "rocket man" - have "fallen in love", and joked that the North Korean economy will take off "like a rocket" once the negotiations have been completed. The president has even boasted about how his handling of North Korea earned him a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize (the nomination was reportedly submitted by Japanese leader Shinzo Abe), and that, if he had not been elected, the two countries "would be at war right now."