Delegates were outlining specific goals for what US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un should try to accomplish and multiple scenarios for how key issues can be resolved, an official briefed on the discussions said.
Asked if he would meet Kim in Singapore, the ex-basketball player said he thinks the North Korean leader "has bigger things to worry about than seeing me right now".
A chief nuclear strategist for decades, he authored the letter responding to Trump's decision to cancel the summit, saying North Korea was still willing "to sit down face-to-face with the USA and resolve issues anytime and in any format".
Pompeo also expressed confidence of a "successful outcome" but said that the summit would also lead to a lot more to be done in the path ahead, providing a "framework for the hard work that will follow".
Image credit ULI-PwC report
Both sides were finalizing preparations for the meeting, which was to kick off at 9 a.m. Tuesday, local time, with a handshake between Trump and Kim, an image sure to be devoured around the world.
Officials from the two sides held last-minute talks aimed at laying the groundwork for a meeting that was nearly unthinkable just months ago when the two leaders were exchanging insults and threats that raised fears of war.
He was greeted by Singapore's foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, who posted a picture on Twitter of him shaking hands with Kim and the message: "Welcomed Chairman Kim Jong Un, who has just arrived in Singapore".
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there is "enormous potential" for the summit, but lowered expectations about immediate denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
"The tweet showed Balakrishnan, Kim and Singapore's education minister Ong Ye Kung smiling broadly at the camera along with the caption: "#jalanjalan #guesswhere?"
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"We're prepared to take actions that will provide them sufficient certainty that they can be comfortable that denuclearization isn't something that ends badly for them", he said.
Along with an extensive security detail, the North Korean leader took his own personal toilet to the meeting.
Pompeo also said that Trump had called Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean president Moon Jae-in.
"I'd like to have it done immediately", he said on "Fox & Friends" last month, "but, physically, a phase-in may be a little bit necessary".
"I know Singapore is a very hot country, so I wish that our respected marshal stays healthy and comes back in good health".
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But the US President's Boeing 747 is a far cry from Kim's aircraft, a Soviet-made Ilyushin-62 which wags have dubbed Air Force Un. The two will later be joined by officials and have lunch together.
"It's unknown territory in the truest sense but I really feel confident", Trump said. The talks are expected to focus at least in part on an eventual deal to dismantle North Korea's nuclear program.
The comment was reminiscent of the height of brinkmanship in August, when fears of an armed clash soared amid Mr. Trump's warning that North Korea could face "fire and fury like the world has never seen".
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She and Harry arrived at Buckingham Palace in the back of a vehicle before switching to their carriage for the big occasion. Among the 23 aircraft taking part are modern jets and historic aircraft, while the Red Arrows will be the finale.