February 6, 2019 | 10:42 am GMT+7

Trump to meet with Kim Jong-un in Vietnam within weeks

Trump to meet with Kim Jong-un in Vietnam within weeks
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday he plans to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam on February 27-28.

"If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea. Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong-un is a good one."

"Kim and I will meet again on February 27-28 in Vietnam," he said.

Trump made the announcement in his annual State of the Union address to Congress, confirming rumors about Vietnam being chosen as the venue for their second meeting.

But he stopped short of saying where in Vietnam.

Vietnam's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said late last month that Vietnam was confident of its readiness to host the second Kim-Trump meeting.

"We believe in our ability to organize such kinds of events after our success in hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2017."

The nation was willing to actively contribute to building peace and stability in the Korean peninsula, she added.

AFP earlier quoted a Vietnamese government source as saying that "logistical preparations" were under way to host the meeting, which would most likely happen in the capital Hanoi or the coastal city of Da Nang. 

The U.S. President joined leaders of 20 Pacific Rim economies, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, for the APEC 2017 summit in Da Nang.

The South Korean ambassador to Vietnam, Kim Do-hyon, said he highly regarded Vietnam’s contributions to denuclearization and peace on the Korean peninsula.

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

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."

Progress stalled soon afterwards as Pyongyang and Washington, which has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, disagreed over what it meant.

The U.S. expects Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arsenal, built by the Kim regime as a hedge against military action by hostile nations, including "regime change."

Minh Nga   

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