The South Korean government announced that President Donald Trump will meet with Kim Jong-un.
"This could really be the crowning achievement of the Trump administration".
"If the result of this meeting is not verifiable concrete steps to denuclearization, than it will be a failure, and then the president is going to be under tremendous pressure because that new red line has been set to act", Gardner said.
"It's hard to know whether this is just his supreme confidence that he can get a deal done with his own business experience, or whether he is calculating that he wins either way", said Jim Steinberg, who served as deputy secretary of state under Democratic President Bill Clinton. "Otherwise, it runs the risk of being more spectacle than substance".
"I'm very anxious that Donald Trump will go into these negotiations and Kim Jong-un will simply take advantage of him", Warren added.
Several experienced career diplomats occupy key positions in the Trump administration's Korea and East Asia offices, but many of them are in an acting capacity while other positions are entirely empty. Bashing the eminently-bashable North Korea dictator is among Gardner's favorite pastimes. As a presidential candidate he famously suggested meeting with U.S. enemies, and ended up relaunching Washington's relationships with Cuba and Iran as president.
But skeptics are not expecting the meeting to lead a major change in North Korea's arsenal.
"The fundamental definition of denuclearization is quite different between Washington and Pyongyang", Revere said, noting that as recently as January 1, Kim had vigorously reaffirmed the importance of nukes for North Korea's security. "Japan, the United States, and South Korea to maintain great pressure". "That is why other presidents have not done it".
In a report this week, one of the teams, at 38 North, a research institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, said rising plumes of steam from the reactor complex, as well as melted river ice nearby, suggested "the reactor is operating again" to make plutonium for the North's nuclear weapons program.
People watch a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, meeting with South Korean National Security Director Chung Eui-yong in Pyongyang, North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, March 7, 2018.
Experts have warned that the talks between Trump and North Korea are high stakes and unprecedented in many ways.
North Korea's missile tests are usually conducted late at night or early in the morning and nearly always trigger emergency national security meetings in Seoul when they occur.
It is certainly a bold move by Mr Trump, who prides himself on being a President who does things very differently.
It comes after a top South Korean official said on Thursday that Trump has accepted an offer of a summit from the North Korean leader and will meet with Kim Jong-un by May. Tillerson said what stood out for him was what he termed the dramatic shift in Kim Jong Un's position.
Prescott says the Trump administration must do all it can to turn this potential opening into an opportunity to advance USA interests, not Kim's. It also represents another instance in which the Republican Trump, a businessman who promised to shake up Washington, took a completely different direction than his Democratic predecessor.
"I am concerned by President Trump's response to the invitation that he meet with Kim Jong Un - not that he agreed to meet but that he agreed to meet by May", Einhorn said.
"Pyongyang has to be serious about denuclearization".