Vietnam ‘willing’ to host Trump-Kim summit

Top N Korean in US to prepare new meeting

18th January, 2019 09:42:44 printer

HANOI: Vietnam’s premier has said his country is willing to host a much-anticipated second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, reports AFP.

One of North Korea’s top generals Kim Yong Chol is expected to meet with Trump at the White House on Friday to hash out details of a second meeting with Kim, including a potential venue.

The second round of talks follow a historic summit in Singapore last year and are aimed at denuclearisation and ending decades of enmity between the two nations.

Vietnam has cropped up in the swirl of rumours and conjecture over a possible site for the meeting, with the capital Hanoi or the coastal city of Danang seemingly the most likely bases for the summit.

On Thursday Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said he would be open to hosting it.

“We don’t know the final decision. However, if it happens here we will do our best to facilitate the meeting,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

“Vietnam has cooperated well with the US in developing economic and trade relations, as well as in other areas.”

A Vietnamese government source who wished to remain anonymous told AFP “logistical preparations” were under way for a Trump-Kim summit although “no official decision” had been made.

“There is lots of work to be done, not only for Danang but some other locations for the event. The Vietnamese side is ready to host... but it is not up to us to decide.”

Meanwhile, a top North Korean general was paying a rare visit Friday to Washington, where he is expected to meet President Donald Trump to finalize a new summit aimed at denuclearization and easing decades of hostility. 

Kim Yong Chol, a right-hand man to leader Kim Jong Un, is the first North Korean dignitary in nearly two decades known to have spent the night in the US capital, little more than a year after Trump was threatening to wipe the totalitarian state off the map.

Under light snow, Kim and his entourage were seen exiting a motorcade and without comment entering a fashionable hotel in the lively Dupont Circle neighborhood, where he is expected to meet Friday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

An American source, who could not be identified as the schedule has not been announced, said Pompeo would invite Kim to an early lunch before the two likely head together to the White House, a short drive away.