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Vietnam leader accords warm welcome to North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un

MAR. 1, 2019

First Vietnam visit by a North Korean leader in 55 years begins Friday with grand welcome ceremony.

North Korea Chairman Kim Jong-un and President Nguyen Phu Trong shake hands before a conference in Hanoi on Friday. Photo by Giang Huy

North Korea Chairman Kim Jong-un and President Nguyen Phu Trong shake hands before a conference in Hanoi on Friday. Photo by Giang Huy

President chief and State President Nguyen Phu Trong hosted a welcome ceremony Friday for North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un in Hanoi.

Kim was greeted with a warm hug before the two leaders attended a flag-raising ceremony and reviewed the Guard of Honor at the Presidential Palace, following which they joined a conference with top officials of both sides.

Later in the day, the North Korean leader is also scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

President Nguyen Phu Trong introduces Chairman Kim Jong-un with Vietnamese officials. Photo by Giang Huy

President Nguyen Phu Trong introduces Chairman Kim Jong-un to senior Vietnamese officials. Photo by Giang Huy

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.

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

Kim Jong-un arrived in Vietnam Tuesday morning after traveling for more than 60 hours in an armored train from Pyongyang. He met with U.S. President Trump for the next two days, but the second summit between the two leaders ended without a deal, following disagreements over lifting of the sanctions imposed on North Korea.

Chairman Kim will leave Vietnam on Saturday.

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