But cut to the next day, he met a North Korean official at the White House and pointed out that the summit was back on track.
The photo made rounds on social media, where theories abound about why Kim would have sent Trump what seemed like a comically oversized letter. "Oh, would you like to see what was in that letter".
Others compared the delivery to a novelty greeting card or an envelope used in a game show.
North Korea issued an unusually conciliatory response to Trump's letter, with senior diplomat Kim Kye Gwan saying in a statement that Pyongyang had "inwardly highly appreciated" Trump's efforts for a summit, calling it a "bold decision, which any other US presidents dared not". "I have no doubt", he added, referring to a package of global aid and lifting of sanctions to help the North develop its economy should it opt for complete denuclearization. I think we're going to have a relationship and it will start on June 12.
"They are trying to set low expectations hoping for something more but not being in the position of walking into the meeting with something that is going to get them solidly in the direction of nuclear dismantlement".
"I haven't seen the letter yet".
"It is an ironic and telling deviation from North Korea's insistence on being treated on an 'equal footing, ' " said Scott Snyder, a Korea expert at Council on Foreign Relations.
The North Korean envoy, Kim Yong Chol, was the highest-level figure from the reclusive country to hold talks at the White House since a senior envoy visited former President Bill Clinton in 2000.
Eight days after canceling the unprecedented summit, citing Pyongyang's "open hostility", Trump welcomed North Korea's former intelligence chief, now under punitive USA sanctions, to the White House Oval Office, afterward exchanging smiles and handshakes, patting his arm in a friendly gesture. "North Korea can build nukes and ICBMs, but claim they are too poor to pay for foreign travel costs".
At an island resort off the coast of Singapore, U.S. event planners are working day and night with their North Korean counterparts to set up a summit created to bring an end to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.
Fueling the concept is a misplaced belief in Washington that crippling economic sanctions changed North Korea's strategic calculus and made the communist country eager to seek a deal with the United States, according to Cho.
"I believe they are contemplating a path forward".
Kim Yong-chol, a four-star general, formerly ran the People's Army's Reconnaissance General Bureau, the main intelligence agency, and is the alleged mastermind of the 2010 torpedoing of the South Korean Cheonan warship, which killed 46 sailors. I don't say and I've never said it happens in one meeting. "I think we're over that, totally over that", Trump said on Friday.