Trump suggests Vietnam for US-North Korea February summit

By Phan Anh   January 13, 2019 | 08:58 pm PT
Trump suggests Vietnam for US-North Korea February summit
U.S. President Donald Trump sits next to North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un before their bilateral meeting at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested that the second U.S.-North Korea summit be held in Vietnam next month.

Citing "officials familiar with the matter," the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Sunday that North Korea has reportedly reviewed the proposal, but is yet to give a response.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said "details are being worked out" for the second summit, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Discussions on possible locations for Trump and Kim’s next summit have been in focus since earlier this month, when Trump told the press the U.S. was "negotiating a location" and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the summit would "take place soon."

An unnamed South Korean foreign ministry official said, on condition of anonymity, that while Vietnam, Singapore and Hawaii were shortlisted, Hawaii was "an unrealistic location as it doesn’t have a North Korean embassy," the Korea Herald reported last Friday.

Last week, U.S. and North Korean diplomats met several times in Hanoi to discuss the location for the summit, media reports said, citing unnamed diplomatic sources in Seoul and Washington.

Vietnam could be a neutral location for the event Eric Gomez, a researcher at the public policy thinktank Cato Institute, U.S., told VnExpress.

He said Vietnam could be a suitable mediator for the two countries because it has improved its relationship with the U.S. in recent years while not being an ally, and Hanoi could represent an interesting model for Pyongyang as Kim switches his priority to economic growth.

Kim Do-hyon, the South Korean ambassador to Vietnam, has also supported Vietnam as a candidate for the meeting.

"Vietnam has good relations with both South and North Korea as well as the U.S., and has experience in successfully hosting many international summits in recent years such as APEC," Kim said.

"Therefore I believe that the second U.S.-North Korea summit being held in Vietnam would have tremendous significance," he said.

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