Vietnam preparing for visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Communist-ruled Vietnam, which has good relations with both the United States and North Korea, has been widely touted as the most likely venue for a second meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim.
Communist-ruled Vietnam, which has good relations with both the United States and North Korea, has been widely touted as the most likely venue for a second meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

HANOI • Hanoi is preparing to receive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a state visit, two sources told Reuters, while officials and diplomats said Vietnam is keen to host a second summit between Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump.

A source said Mr Kim will travel to Vietnam for an official state visit after the Chinese New Year. A separate source confirmed Mr Kim's visit but did not give any dates.

Communist-ruled Vietnam, which has good relations with both the United States and North Korea, has been widely touted as the most likely venue for a second meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim.

It is keen to host the summit as a demonstration of its normalised ties with the US, its foe during the Vietnam War, said a Vietnamese government official and other diplomatic sources.

The Vietnamese source did not confirm if a state visit by Mr Kim would be combined with a US-North Korean summit.

Both Hanoi and the central Vietnam city of Danang have been viewed by analysts as possible locations for a second summit.

A senior Danang-based official said the city had not been asked to host such an event, but had received instructions to prepare for a possible "A1" visit, referring to a high-profile foreign leader.

 
 

North Korea can learn from Vietnam's experience in building ties with the US, said Mr Le Dang Doanh, a Vietnamese economist and former government adviser who has given lectures to North Korean delegations visiting Vietnam.

"They asked a lot about how Vietnam can normalise relations with the US after losing so many Vietnamese lives during the war," he said. "I told them we never forget the past, but we also look to the future."

REUTERS

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2019, with the headline 'Vietnam preparing for visit by N. Korean leader'. Print Edition | Subscribe