Kim expects 'great outcome' from Hanoi summit with Trump

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un posed for photos before they started their meeting on Feb 27, 2019.
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un posed for photos before they started their meeting on Feb 27, 2019.PHOTO: AFP
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met for about 30 minutes before having dinner with aides.
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met for about 30 minutes before having dinner with aides.PHOTO: AFP
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a dinner at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi on Feb 27, 2019.
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a dinner at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi on Feb 27, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

HANOI (REUTERS, AFP) - US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held one-on-one talks on Wednesday (Feb 27) at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi. 

They shook hands and posed for photos before they began their meeting, which lasted about 30 minutes. 

Mr Kim said he is sure the summit, the second after they met in Singapore in June last year, will produce positive results.

“I am certain that a great outcome will be achieved this time that will be welcomed by all people,” Mr Kim told Mr Trump. “I will do my best to make that happen.”

Mr Trump said it was an honour to be with Mr Kim.

"I think your country has tremendous economic potential," Mr Trump told Mr Kim. "I think you will have a tremendous future for your country, you’re a great leader... We will help it to happen."

Asked if he would declare a formal end to the Korean War, which North Korea has long called for, Mr Trump said: “We’ll see."

On whether he was “walking back” on denuclearisation, the US president said “no”.

After the meeting, the two sat down for dinner with aides.

Mr Trump was accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney while Mr Kim was joined by his top envoy, Mr Kim Yong Chol, and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

“We’re going to have a very busy day tomorrow ... Probably a very quick dinner,” said a smiling, relaxed looking Trump, seated beside Mr Kim at a round table with the other four officials and two interpreters.

“Our relationship is a very special relationship,” Mr Trump said. 

Mr Kim also appeared at ease. “We’ll have a very interesting dialogue,” he told Mr Trump.

The dinner menu included shrimp cocktail, grilled sirloin with pear kimchi, chocolate lava cake and dried persimmon punch, according to a menu posted by Voice of America.  

After the dinner, the two leaders went back to their respective hotels - Mr Kim is staying at Melia Hanoi hotel while Mr Trump is staying at  J. W. Marriott.

Mr Trump earlier on Wednesday hailed North Korea's "awesome" potential and said Mr Kim wanted to do something great, hours before their meeting to try to break a stalemate over the North's nuclear weapons.

Despite little progress on his goal of ridding North Korea of its weapons programmes, Mr Trump appeared to be betting on his personal relationship with North Korea's young leader, and the economic incentive after 70 years of hostility between their countries.


US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi for their one-on-one talks on Feb 27, 2019. PHOTO: AFP


US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi for their one-on-one talks on Feb 27, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS


US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi for their one-on-one talks on Feb 27, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS


US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi for their one-on-one talks on Feb 27, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

"Vietnam is thriving like few places on earth. North Korea would be the same, and very quickly, if it would denuclearise," Mr Trump said on Twitter, the morning after he arrived in Hanoi for the second summit with Mr Kim.

"The potential is AWESOME, a great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong Un. We will know fairly soon - Very Interesting!"

 
 
 
 

At their historic first summit in Singapore last June, Mr Trump and Mr Kim pledged to work toward denuclearisation and permanent peace on the Korean peninsula.

North and South Korea have been technically at war since their 1950-53 conflict, with the Americans backing the South, ended in a truce, not a treaty.

Earlier, Mr Trump met Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong at the presidential palace and they affirmed the need for progress towards final, fully verified denuclearisation by North Korea, Mr Pompeo said on Twitter.

The two presidents also presided over the formal signing of deals by Vietnamese carriers VietJet and Bamboo Airways with Boeing Co to buy 110 planes worth more than US$15 billion (S$20 billion).

The two leaders will hold a 45-minute one-on-one meeting on Thursday followed by expanded talks involving their aides, the White House said, adding that the two would hold a “joint agreement signing ceremony” at the end of their summit.