China's top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, arrived in Seoul Thursday to brief Moon on Kim's secretive visit to Beijing this week to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time. "We expect the upcoming inter-Korean and U.S".
"We still have a fair number of issues to resolve on a working-level for preparations over the next month", said Ri Son Gwon, the chairman of North Korea's committee for the peaceful reunification of the country in closing remarks to the South Korean delegation.
Even more surprising was his pledge to denuclearise the Korean summit.
The U.S. government has been cautious in its outreach to North Korea, saying that engagement will only happen if certain conditions are met such as a halt on nuclear and missile tests and de-nuclearization on the agenda.
The deal also lifts the threat of a 25 percent USA tariff on imports of steel from South Korea in exchange for quotas that will effectively cut US imports of Korean steel by about 30 percent. But with South Korea continuing to call for North Korea's denuclearization as a topic for discussion during next month's summit talks, Pyongyang could well turn around and insist that Seoul, in turn, weaken its dependence on the USA nuclear umbrella. Kim's father and predecessor, Kim Jong Il, met with two South Korean presidents - Kim Dae-jung in 2000 and Roh Moo-hyun in 2007 - in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.
"South Korea has been wonderful, but we'll probably hold that deal up for a little while, see how it plays out", he said in a speech in Ohio. There would be no diplomatic track to speak of with North Korea were it not for the efforts of President Moon, and Trump repays him with a very public threat of extortion.
The official's comment demonstrates that Seoul is not looking at the 2003 Libya disarmament framework that led Colonel Qaddafi to dispose of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and nuclear weapons, in return for sanctions relief from the global community.
Mr Trump welcomed a recent meeting between Mr Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping, while calling for continued pressure on the isolated regime.
"@USTradeRep just announced an agreement in principle with South Korea on KORUS!" he said.
A second source said South Korea is confused because the negotiations concluded less than a week ago.
In his discussions with Xi, Kim reaffirmed his intention to meet with the two leaders, according to Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency.
"Trump does not separate security from trade; they are all part of his pack of cards, while Moon tended to see them as separate issues", said Shim Sang-ryul, a professor of worldwide trade at Kwangwoon University in Seoul.
The North's diplomatic outreach comes after an unusually provocative year in which it conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles created to target the US mainland.
The summit will be seen as a victory for South Korea President Moon Jae-in, who has always been pushing hard for diplomatic relations with North Korea. However, the North has yet to officially confirm its interest in a summit between Kim and Trump.
It was not clear what a satisfactory agreement meant and despite a standing invitation for South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang, no date has been set.
North Korea over the past two decades has been repeatedly accused of using disarmament talks as a way to ease outside pressure and win badly needed aid, while continuing to secretly push ahead with weapons development.