Trump is now predicting North Korea will emerge as an 'economic powerhouse'

Kevin Lim / The Straits Times / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesUS President Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un (L) at their previous US-North Korea summit in Singapore.

  • US President Donald Trump has announced the Vietnamese capital Hanoi as the venue for his next historic meeting with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.
  • Trump had declared in his State of the Union address on Tuesday that he would meet with the hereditary “Great Leader” of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) somewhere in Vietnam from February 27-28.
  • Trump later tweeted that under Kim, the DPRK would one day become an “economic powerhouse.”

The US President Donald Trump has unveiled Hanoi as the chosen venue for his long-awaited second summit with the leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un later this month.

Trump announced in his State of the Union address on Tuesday that he would be sitting down again with the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the man he derided as “Rocket Man,” somewhere in Vietnam from February 27-28.

On Friday evening, the president tweeted the new location, saying his representatives were leaving Pyongyang after what he said was a “productive meeting” on what will be a second historic summit between the staunch nuclear adversaries, following Trump and Kim’s June 13 meeting last year.

“I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim & advancing the cause of peace!” He tweeted.

Read more: 9 of the most outrageous things Kim Jong Un has said, before his about-face attempt at diplomacy

The US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun held three days of talks in Pyongyang to prepare for the Feb 27-28 summit and outlined further plans to meet again with his DPRK counterpart ahead of that meeting, the US State Department said in a statement on Friday.

Biegun met with Kim Hyok Chol from Wednesday until Friday in Pyongyang and “discussed advancing President Trump and Chairman Kim’s Singapore summit commitments of complete denuclearization, transforming U.S.-DPRK relations, and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

Biegun and Special Representative Kim will meet again in advance of Trump and Chairman Kim’s Hanoi meeting, the state department confirmed.

According to The Washington Post officials were said to have been considering Danang, the coastal resort town which had initially been touted as a likely spot, the president having already met with Russian President Vladimir Putin there at an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit two years ago.

Another enthusiastic Friday evening follow-up tweet from the Trump dangled an economic carrot for the North Korean leader, emphasising the potential economic largesse that awaits.

“North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse,” Trump tweeted.

“He may surprise some but he won’t surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is. North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket – an Economic one!” he predicted.

‘North Korea no longer a nuclear threat!’

Trump kim singaporeGetty

The American president has a track record of tweeting hyperbolic notions around North Korean denuclearization.

At the June summit in Singapore, Trump left the meeting announcing to the world that North Korea was “no longer a nuclear threat.”

“Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office.” Trump said.

It is widely thought that Kim will never yield up his nuclear arsenal, the only true leverage and insurance his hermit kingdom has against the encroaching world.

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