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U.S. and North Korean Leaders to Meet on Feb. 27 in Hanoi

#Hot Issues of the Week l 2019-02-10



U.S. President Donald Trump announced Saturday that Hanoi will be the venue for his second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Trump confirmed on Saturday, Seoul Time, in a post on Twitter that the second U.S.-North Korea summit will take place in Vietnam’s capital city on Feb. 27-28.

His message came after Stephen Biegun, the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, held pre-summit talks with his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok-chol in Pyongyang from Wednesday to Friday.

The US president said in the message that Biegun had just left North Korea after a very productive meeting with an agreed upon time and date for the second Summit with Kim Jong-un, adding that the meeting will be held in Hanoi on February 27 and 28.

Biegun said Saturday that his three-day talks in Pyongyang were "productive."

During a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha in Seoul, the U.S. envoy said "we don't know where it is going to go" but the U.S. is in the midst of a conversation with the North.

Biegun cited "some hard work" to do with the North but said he is confident that both sides stay committed and real progress can be made.

With less than three weeks until the summit, the two sides are expected to discuss a wide array of topics, including the dismantlement and verification of uranium enrichment facilities in the North and a possible establishment of a liaison office between the two states. The U.S.’ corresponding measures could also include declaring a formal end to the Korean War and signing a peace treaty.

In a second Tweet on Saturday, Trump emphasized that North Korea would benefit from the summit economically, writing that under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, North Korea “will become a great Economic Powerhouse.”

He added that “North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket - an Economic one!”

Trump announced on Tuesday during his State of the Union address that his second meeting with Kim would be held in Vietnam but didn't specify the host city. There were reports that the United States favored Da Nang while North Korea wanted Hanoi.

Vietnam maintains amicable relations with both the U.S. and North Korea. During his visit to Vietnam in July, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said North Korea should follow the successful example of the Southeast Asian communist country, which normalized ties with the U.S. in 1995 after 20-years of severed ties following the Vietnam War.

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