North Korea leader Kim Jong-un to make official visit to Vietnam

By Khanh Lynh   February 22, 2019 | 10:01 pm PT
North Korea leader Kim Jong-un to make official visit to Vietnam
North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. Photo by Reuters/File
Kim Jong-un will pay an official visit to Vietnam in the coming days at the invitation of Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong.

A statement by Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday did not mention specific dates for the visit, which will be Kim's first to Vietnam.

The North Korean leader is already set to attend a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi on February 27 and 28.

Kim Jong-un is Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission.

North Korea is one of the earliest countries to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam in 1950, after China and the Soviet Union.

It sent 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, medicine and fertilizers.

Between 1994 and 2012, Vietnam also sent multiple rice donations as well as cash relief to North Korea.

Vietnam-North Korea relations have been established and cemented at the highest level. In 1957, President Ho Chi Minh visited North Korea and the late North Korean Premier Kim Il-sung visited Vietnam later.

In June 1961, late Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong officially visited North Korea. In November 1964, Kim Il-sung made another visit to Vietnam.

Diplomatic relations between Hanoi and Pyongyang were significantly boosted in the 21st century with multiple visits, including that of former Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh in 2007, former Minister of Public Security Le Hong Anh in 2008, President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea Kim Yong Nam's to Vietnam in 2001 and Prime Minister of North Korea's Cabinet Kim Yong Il's in 2007.

During Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh's official visit to North Korea earlier this month, North Korea thanked Vietnam's stance and efforts to push dialogues for peace, security, cooperation and development on the Korean Peninsula.

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