Tweeting from the presidential plane, which just landed in Hawaii to refuel on the trip back from Singapore, Trump wrote, "There is no limit to what NoKo can achieve when it gives up its nuclear weapons and embraces commerce & engagement w/ the world".
Now it appears the North Koreans are trying to seize on this confusion to put forth a favorable summit narrative - or rather, one even more favorable than "U.S. president legitimizes North Korean dictator".
At a news conference in Singapore after almost five hours of talks there with Kim, Trump said he "knows for a fact" that North Korea is serious about denuclearization this time and that Kim "wants to do the right thing".
In this handout photo released by the South Korean Defense Ministry, U.S. M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System firing an MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile during a U.S.
He added, "Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea".
He had been imprisoned in North Korea from January 2016 after being sentenced to 15 years of hard labour for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan from his hotel, North Korea state media said. "No longer - sleep well tonight!" the President wrote. He met for almost an hour at the air base with Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, before heading by motorcade to Seoul.
The South Korean government, which views the presence of US troops and the military exercises as important to regional security, seemed to express nervousness about Trump's remarks.
The country was as surprised as anyone by President Donald Trump's sudden announcement in Singapore that the U.S. would be "stopping the war games" - the joint military exercises it regularly carries out with South Korea.
The U.S.is essentially accepting that North Korea is now in the club of nuclear-armed nations.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Singapore on Wednesday on his way to Seoul, where he planned to meet privately in the evening with Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea.
This question led to some of the most interesting exchanges during Trump's sprawling news conference after the signing with Kim.
Pompeo was in Seoul on Wednesday to brief South Korean officials on the summit.
During his return, Trump spoke with South Korean Prime Minister Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said, adding that the Trump-Kim agreement is nothing more than a "few sentences on a sheet of paper" that were "very aspirational".
In the aftermath of the Singapore summit, the anti-Trump talking point is that Trump accomplished nothing of effect. It wasn't until Trump's tenure that North Korea began testing an intercontinental ballistic missile and the bellicose rhetoric between the two leaders ramped up.
Soon, Kim departed the venue, while a clearly ebullient Trump held forth for more than an hour before the press on what he styled as a historic achievement to avert the prospect of nuclear war. Mr Pompeo, the former Central Intelligence Agency director, then plans to fly to Beijing to update the Chinese government on the talks.
It said the two men "gladly accepted" mutual invitations to visit each other's countries.
About 29,000 United States soldiers are based in the South, under a security agreement reached after the war ended in 1953.
As part of the inter-Korean thaw, the Games were attended by North Korea and there was concern the military exercise could jeopardise the rapprochement.
There are usually two sets of exercises every year, in spring and autumn, involving a massive number of troops and military hardware.
Washington has described the drills as defensive in nature, but Pyongyang says they are a rehearsal for invasion and has long called for them to end.