Trump's North Korea bargaining chips: What is president prepared to offer?

Normalizing relations? Ending the Korean War? Big Macs in Pyongyang?

With less than an hour to go before President Trump’s historic nuclear summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Trump has arrived at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island, where the summit will be held.

The Trump administration hinted throughout the day at the bargaining chips the president may have in his back pocket as he readies for the high-stakes negotiations in Singapore.

"Meetings between staffs and representatives are going well and quickly....but in the end, that doesn’t matter," Trump tweeted Monday. "We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!"

Ahead of the summit, the president also lashed out at the "haters & losers."

"The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the U.S., say the haters & losers," the president said. "We have our hostages, testing, research and all missle launches have stoped, and these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say! We will be fine!"

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters earlier Monday that the U.S. is “prepared to make security assurances” for North Korea if it denuclearizes. He said complete denuclearization is the only acceptable outcome from Tuesday’s meeting between the two leaders.

Pompeo said sanctions will remain in place until Pyongyang “completely and verifiably” eliminates all weapons of mass destruction.

So what is Trump prepared to offer Kim?

In Washington last week, Trump himself suggested a deal could include “normalizing relations” between the United States and North Korea. Axios reported over the weekend that Trump may be even willing to consider eventually putting a U.S. embassy in Pyongyang.

The news site also reported that Trump likes the idea of allowing American businesses, like McDonalds, to open up shop in North Korea.


During a press conference last week, the president said it’s possible an agreement formally ending the war between North and South Korea could be signed during the summit as a “first step.”

“That's really the beginning. Sounds a little bit strange, but that's probably the easy part. The hard part remains after that.”

The president also said during that Rose Garden press conference that it is “certainly” possible he could invite Kim to visit the White House if the nuclear summit in Singapore “goes well.”

“I think that could happen," Trump said.

It's far from sure that a deal will be struck. Pyongyang has indicated it is open to getting rid of its nuclear weapons in exchange for the U.S. security guarantees and other benefits, though some believe it’s an unrealistic prospect as the nuclear arsenal cements Kim’s grip on the country and deters all-out attacks against him.

A select few of President Trump’s closest aides will witness and participate in the historic summit, according to new details released by the White House – which says discussions surrounding the sit-down “have moved more quickly than expected.”

A White House statement confirmed that Trump and the reclusive North Korean leader will meet at 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET on Monday) in Singapore.

They will first enter a one-on-one meeting with translators only, the first meeting ever between a U.S. president and North Korea’s leader – and Trump’s first opportunity to gauge Kim’s willingness to negotiate on dismantling his nuclear weapons program.

From there, according to the White House, the meeting will expand to include Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

As first reported by Fox News, a working lunch will then be held including Press Secretary Sarah Sanders; National Security Council Senior Director for Asia Matt Pottinger; and Sung Kim, U.S. ambassador to the Philippines and a former North Korea policy official.

Kim is expected to have a small contingent including Kim Yong Chol, who visited Trump at the White House in the run-up to the summit to deliver a letter from the North Korean dictator.

The details were falling into place at a rapid pace. A State Department spokesperson said the U.S. and North Korean delegations have held a second meeting in advance of the summit.

The summit itself is set to kick off with a handshake between Trump and Kim, a symbolic image that may define the future of millions of people.

The U.S. president said Saturday that he’ll understand Kim’s intentions “within the first minute” of meeting him and whether he’s willing to give up the nuclear arsenal.

“I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people,” Trump said at a press conference in Canada during the G7 summit over the weekend. “It’s a one-time shot and I think it’s going to work out very well.”

But he urged caution, adding that “there’s a good chance it won’t work out” and that “there’s probably an even better chance it will take a period of time.”

“I think the minimum would be relationship. You would start at least a dialogue, because, you know, as a deal person, I have done very well with deals,” Trump said of his expectations.

Fox News’ Judson Berger, Lukas Mikelionis and The Associated Press contributed to this report.