Published: Thu, February 07, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Vietnam welcomes Trump-Kim summit, ready to do its part

Vietnam welcomes Trump-Kim summit, ready to do its part

South Korea welcomed President Trump's announcement that he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on February 27, expressing hope the pair can build off their first meeting to make "more specific and substantial progress" this time around.

Trump has touted his first summit with Kim, held last June in Singapore, as a major foreign policy achievement and claimed the country no longer poses a nuclear threat.

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.

"We expect that they will take more detailed and substantial steps of progress in Vietnam", presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said. During that visit, Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh told his North Korean counterpart that he welcomed the positive developments on the Korean Peninsula and that Vietnam was willing to share its socio-economic development experiences, Vietnamese state media reported.

In particular, he spelled out the Trump administration's vision of a fundamentally transformed relationship with North Korea, including significant economic engagement, if the country gives up its nuclear arsenal.

Trump continued: "If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea".

The North has been demanding the USA lift economic sanctions, as it halted nuclear and missile tests, dismantled its nuclear test site and parts of its rocket launch facility and released U.S. detainees in 2018.

Da Nang's Furama Resort, which also hosted the 2017 Apec meetings, has been floated as a location for the next Trump-Kim summit.

'Do you think anyone believes that if there was another president we'd be at war with North Korea? Huynh Tan Vinh, the resort's director, said the city would be a better choice than Hanoi for logistical and security reasons.

"It is positive that we have managed to engage them in a dialogue", she added. The French landed there in 1858 and the U.S. marines in 1965.

Mr Saleh noted that under 2008 US-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement, Washington had agreed not to use Iraq "as a launching or transit point for attacks against other countries".

"Vietnam is the ideal model for North Korea", Lee said.

News that a tentative agreement has been reached offers relief to those who anxious Trump would use the lack of a deal as a reason to pull USA troops out of South Korea as part of negotiations with Kim.

Since US sanctions were lifted in 1994, Vietnam has become one of Southeast Asia's fastest-growing economies.

He said that the summit will also bring a positive image of Vietnam "being a country of peace and Vietnamese people welcome it". Both are fewer than 2,000 miles from North Korea's capital of Pyongyang-an even shorter hop from North Korea than Singapore.

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