Published: Fri, March 01, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Kim in Hanoi for second summit with Trump

Kim in Hanoi for second summit with Trump

Kim and Trump shook hands and smiled in their first encounter at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, where the two leaders were slated to briefly sit down one-on-one before having a social dinner, opening their two-day summit. The second summit between the two leaders aims to find a solution to one of the world's biggest security crises - North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Unlike the hoopla surrounding the duo's first summit last summer in Singapore, the Trump administration this time is tempering expectations for what might come out of the meeting.

Critics called this a major concession with no guarantees in return.

With North Korea then busily testing missiles and conducting underground nuclear tests, analysts feared the duo were egging each other on towards a catastrophic confrontation. And while North Korea has now gone more than a year without conducting missile and nuclear tests, it has done nothing to roll back the weapons already built. For that reason, he said, a formal peace declaration ending the Korean War ― which would supplant the armistice signed in 1953 ― would be ill-advised. That means the US could settle for a partial agreement. North Korea has spent decades, at great economic sacrifice, building its nuclear program, and there are doubts that it will give away that program without getting something substantial from the U.S. Recruits tend to be drawn from elite North Korean families.

The North Korean leader travelled to Hanoi from Pyongyang by armoured train, in a journey that took 65 hours.

"Vietnam's development record over the past 30 years is remarkable", the World Bank said in a report, adding, "Vietnam's economy is performing well, propelled by the sustained global recovery and continued domestic reforms".

Asked whether there has been any demand from the North Koreans about removing US troops from the peninsula in exchange for a peace treaty, the official responded in a background call with reporters last week, "I've never discussed that in any round of negotiations".

On Wednesday, Trump will be meeting Vietnam's President and Secretary-General of the Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong as well as the country's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The video broadcast by TBS on Tuesday shows Kim taking a drag on a cigarette and talking with North Korean officials at China's Nanning rail station.

Trump is now in Vietnam for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The apparent "counterprogramming" of Michael Cohen's expected damaging testimony concerns arms control and national security experts, who fear that Trump is trying to distract public attention from Cohen, even at the cost of USA interests.

That would "probably be the last thing he needs" amid the possible release this week of a summary of the special counsel's report into ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 election campaign, adds Carafano.

"Now that we're meeting here again like this, I'm confident that there will be an excellent outcome that everyone welcomes, and I'll do my best to make it happen", Kim said.

The days of calling him "little rocket man" and promising "fire and fury" are gone, but whether this softer approach can yield results remains uncertain.

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