Trump reveals date of North Korea summit in Vietnam

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Trump may now try to appoint Hanoi as the mentor of Pyongyang and for Kim Jong Un, the example of Vietnam could certainly be appealing: gaining economic success without giving up too much political control and having a good relationship with both the U.S. and the European Union at the same time.

Just as Singapore, where Kim and Trump met for the first time last June, Vietnam has diplomatic ties with both North Korea and the US. Hanoi and Da Nang have been floated as possible venues for the upcoming Trump-Kim summit.

Cheon Seong Whun, a visiting research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, said Trump could use Vietnam to "signal to Beijing that North Korea is not in your hands, we have a counterbalance to Chinese influence in this area".

In his speech, Trump said he would continue working for peace on the Korean Peninsula, . and touted his accomplishments in America's relationship with the North.

The two met for the first time at a summit held in Singapore previous year and parted with a commitment from Kim to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".


South Korea has welcomed the setting of a date, as our Yoon Jung-min reports.

"We have a chance.to show everyone that Vietnam is a lovely country and that the Vietnamese are friendly", she said.

CNN first broke the story last week, citing a senior administration official familiar with the matter.

The upcoming summit could further bolster Vietnam's global reputation and help it "attract tourism and foreign investment", Vu Minh Khuong, a policy analyst at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, told the Agence France-Presse.

Some experts say North Korea is likely to use the second summit to seek to trade the destruction of its main Yongbyon nuclear complex for a U.S. promise to formally declare the end of the 1950-53 Korean war, open a liaison office in Pyongyang and allow the North to resume lucrative economic projects with South Korea.


Kim accompanied North Korea's top nuclear negotiator Kim Yong-chol when he visited Washington on January 18 for talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"They stopped nuclear testing, but they've made no move at all towards denuclearization". Satellite video taken since the June summit has indicated North Korea is continuing to produce nuclear materials at its weapons factories.

North Korea and Vietnam, meanwhile, have maintained relations far longer - since 1950 - and share a socialist ideology and histories of command economies. But in the interim, North Korea's nuclear and missile programs have continued unabated, and the Pentagon's Missile Defense Review said last month that Pyongyang still represents an "extraordinary threat" to America.

"If the U.S. hopes to reach an agreement, a denuclearization road map that goes beyond the Yongbyon nuclear complex, it needs to show more flexibility in sanctions relief for the North's active engagement in making progress in denuclearization measures", said Cheong Seong-Chang, a senior researcher at the Sejong Institute.


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