No sitting U.S. president has ever met with a leader of North Korea.
The willingness of President Trump to do so has triggered reaction around the world with the bulk of the criticism here at home.
It was during an interview with Bloomberg that the President said he’d be honored to meet with Kim Jong Un under the right circumstances.
Since that comment, administration officials have been stressing those circumstances would involve the denuclearization of North Korea.
President Trump had said during his campaign he’d be open to meeting with the North Korean leader to talk him out of nuclear weapons.
The communist country has been putting on a show in recent weeks, with parades in Pyongyang and the testing of hundreds of ballistic missiles.
Last night, the White House clarified that no face-to-face with North Korea would happen without preconditions.
The president is also working an alternate Asian angle by speaking with the Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, a polarizing leader accused of human rights abuses.
Trump even invited Duterte to Washington.
Later today, President Trump is expected to speak by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s not clear yet it North Korea will be on the agenda.
But the two leaders are expected to discuss the Civil War in Syria and Russia’s continued involvement there.
Over the weekend, CIA director Mike Pompeo arrived in South Korea to meet with U.S. forces and embassy staff.
A U.S. aircraft carrier is now in the region and a new anti-ballistic missile system has been deployed to South Korea, leading many of the Korean peninsula to believe war is imminent.