Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Kim Jong-un Arrives In Vietnam Ahead Of US-DPRK Summit

Kim Jong-un arrives by train at Dong Dang railway station near the border with China on 26 February 2019 in Lang Son, Vietnam.  Photograph: Linh Pham/Getty Images.
North Korean leader to meet US president on Wednesday for dinner after a three-day overland trip

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Vietnam for the first time on Tuesday as preparations continue for the summit with U.S President Donald Trump in Hanoi later this week to engage in a joint statement after the end of 1950-53 Korean War (1950-1953) while seeing the possibility for Korean Peninsula denuclearization and ending international sanctions against Pyongyang.

Kim Jong-un has arrived in Hanoi, after transferring from train to car for the final leg of his overland trip to Vietnam where the North Korean leader is scheduled to have a private dinner and meeting with Donald Trump on Wednesday. Kim will meet the US president for a brief one-on-one conversation, followed by a social dinner, at which they will each be accompanied by two guests and interpreters, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said. 


The meeting between Trump and Kim comes eight months after the historic summit in Singapore, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, which failed to produce concrete results on a path to denuclearisation. US' negotiating position is in disarray ahead of the summit with North Korea Read more Kim arrived on Tuesday at the station in the Vietnamese town of Dong Dang after crossing into China on Saturday thousands of kilometers further north at the city of Dandong. Vietnamese officials opened hands to receive him at the station with a special red carpet treatment, maximum security and guard of honour, while the North Korean and Vietnamese flags are flying. Kim was seen leaving the train in Dong Dang and getting into a Mercedes Benz for the 170km (105-mile) journey to the capital, Hanoi. 

Kim Jong-un waves from his car after arriving by train at Dong Dang railway station near the border with China on 26 February 2019 in Vietnam ahead of the summit.Photograph: Linh Pham.
He waved to young people lining the street as the car set off, flanked by about a dozen bodyguards running alongside. There is no real expectation the second meeting will bring a final deal on ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons that threaten the US, but there are some hopes it could lead to a declaration that the 1950-53 Korean War is at last formally over. The world leaders will be joined US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who also arrived on Tuesday morning. Trump and Kim will then hold a series of official meetings on Thursday.

Trump, who lands in Vietnam late on Tuesday, will have meetings with the host country’s president and prime minister on Wednesday before seeing Kim. Before leaving Washington on Monday, Trump tweeted that he was “Looking forward to a very productive summit.”He earlier told US governors that “I think we’ll have a very tremendous summit.” His upbeat assessment contrasts with earlier comments that the US will be “happy” if North Korea simply agrees to continue its moratorium on nuclear and missile testing. The US president’s remarks on Sunday night represented a lowering of already modest expectations for the second meeting. 

Trump once warned that North Korea’s arsenal posed such a threat to humanity that he may have no choice but to rain “fire and fury” on the rogue nation, yet last week he declared that he was in “no rush” for Pyongyang to prove it was abandoning its weapons. Trump appears to be holding out economic progress for North Korea as a potential reward, saying it will become an “economic powerhouse” in the event of complete denuclearisation. Trump and Kim first met last June in Singapore, a summit that yielded powerful images but few concrete steps for North Korea’s denuclearisation.

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