February 11, 2019 | 05:10 am PT

South Koreans largely optimistic about Trump-Kim summit

South Koreans largely optimistic about Trump-Kim summit
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and United States President Donald Trump are set to meet in Vietnam on Feb 27 and 28. Photo by AFP

A survey has found many South Koreans expect positive outcomes from the U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi this month.

The results of a Realmeter poll were reported Monday by the Yonhap newspaper.

The nationwide survey of 501 South Koreans found about 62.5 percent of respondents optimistic about the prospects for settling "the North Korean nuclear problem," while 35.2 percent said the summit would weaken the U.S.-South Korea alliance "without producing any tangible results on denuclearization."

The report also said supporters of liberal and moderate political parties across all regions and age groups below 60 held optimistic sentiments about the summit’s outcome, while those who backed conservative parties were mostly negative.

U.S. President Donald Trump had said in his annual State of the Union address last week that the second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would be held in Vietnam on February 27 and 28. He later confirmed Hanoi as the summit location.

"I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim and advancing the cause of peace," he said.

Vietnam welcomed the news, expressing confidence in its readiness to host the second Trump-Kim meeting.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered careful preparations for the event.

"The foreign ministry has to cooperate with other units to thoroughly organize the second summit between the U.S. and North Korea in Hanoi later this month," he said at a cabinet meeting Monday.

Trump has sought to convince Kim that giving up his nuclear weapons would enable him to transform his impoverished land into a thriving country, according to The New York Times.

Kim Jong-un and Trump first met last June in Singapore, where they signed a vaguely worded document in which Kim pledged to work toward the "denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."