Kim Jong-un starts two-day official visit to Vietnam

By Anh Ngoc   February 28, 2019 | 07:41 pm PT
Kim Jong-un starts two-day official visit to Vietnam
Kim Jong-un greets Vietnamese officials and residents at Dong Dang railway station in Vietnam's Lang Son Province as he arrives on February 26, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
North Korea Chairman Kim Jong-un has begun a two-day official visit to Vietnam after his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

This is the first visit by a North Korean leader to Vietnam in 55 years since Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, visited in 1964.

Kim is scheduled to hold talks with Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on Friday afternoon, visit and lay wreaths at the Monument to War Heroes and Martyrs and visit the Mausoleum of President Ho Chi Minh.

He will leave on Saturday.

Kim arrived in Vietnam on Tuesday morning after a more than 60-hour train journey from Pyongyang. His second summit with U.S. President Trump ended in Hanoi Thursday without any deal being signed because of disagreements over lifting of the sanctions imposed on North Korea.

In 1950 North Korea became one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam after only China and the Soviet Union.

It dispatched hundreds of military pilots to Vietnam to support the country during the Vietnam War, trained hundreds of students in the 1960s and 1970s, and also supported Vietnam with cement, steel, fabrics, medicines, and fertilizers.

Between 1994 and 2012 Vietnam donated rice and cash several times to North Korea for relief.

The two countries established and cemented relations at the highest level. In 1957 President Ho Chi Minh visited North Korea before Kim Il-sung made a reciprocal visit to Vietnam.

In 1961 then Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong visited North Korea, and in November 1964 Kim made another visit.

During Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh's visit to North Korea last month, his hosts thanked Vietnam's stance and efforts to push talks to achieve peace, security, cooperation, and development on the Korean Peninsula.

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