- US officials are reportedly planning on going to Vietnam for the next Trump-Kim summit.
- The meeting comes less than a year after the first meeting between a US president and a North Korean leader.
- Despite the historic nature of the meeting, little progress has been made on the goals staked out there.
Trump administration officials are reportedly planning on going to Vietnam for the next summit between the US president and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, people familiar with the plans told Bloomberg.
On Friday, after a meeting between Trump and Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol, one of Kim’s top aides and a former spy chief, the White House said the next meeting between the two leaders would take place in late February.
Prior to that meeting, sources told Reuters that Hanoi was keen to host the meeting and was preparing to receive the two leaders. The Southeast Asian country had been touted as a likely venue for the summit.
Hanoi, in northern Vietnam, and Danang, in central Vietnam, are widely viewed as possible locations for the meeting. An official in Danang told Reuters the city had not been asked to host it but had been told to prepare for a potential “A1” visit, referring to a high-profile foreign leader. Ho Chi Minh City in the south has also been mentioned.
A Vietnamese government official told AFP that “logistical preparations” for a Trump-Kim meeting had begun though “no official decision” had been made. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Thursday that while there was not yet a final decision, “we will do our best to facilitate the meeting” if Vietnam is picked.
Vietnam reportedly sees it as a chance to highlight its improved relations with the US. Their ties have warmed in recent years, as the US and countries in Asia seek to balance against China’s rising influence. The US dropped an arms embargo on Vietnam in 2016, and in 2017 a US Navy aircraft carrier visited the country for the first time since the end of the Vietnam War.
Trump and Kim met in Singapore in June – the first meeting between a US president and a North Korean leader, whose countries have never technically ended their 1950-1953 war – and concluded with vague statement in which Kim promised to work toward “the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.”
Trump has heralded that meeting, saying afterward that North Korea no longer presented a nuclear threat, and has touted his closeness with Kim, but since that summit the two sides have made little progress on that goal, in part because of a disagreement over what “denuclearization” means.
On Friday, after announcing the next meeting would take place late next month, the White House said sanctions on Pyongyang would remain in place.
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