North Korean Leader Arrives in Vietnam for Summit with Trump
HANOI After a nearly three-day journey across China via armored train, Kim Jong Un has arrived in Vietnam for his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.
The North Korean leader’s yellow and green bulletproof train arrived in the Vietnamese border city of Dong Dang early Tuesday. There Kim disembarked, smiling and waving to cheering crowds as he walked down a red carpet and got into a black limousine.
The Mercedes-Benz limo was flanked by Kim’s jogging team of black-suited bodyguards as it took off from the train station.
Kim, who departed from Pyongyang on Saturday, will now make the several hour car journey from the mountains of northern Vietnam to the capital, Hanoi.
During two days of talks starting Wednesday, Trump and Kim will try to make progress on their denuclearization agreement reached during their first summit last June in Singapore.
Trump, who is en route to Hanoi via Air Force One, said before leaving Washington that he expects a “tremendous summit.”
The U.S. president is expected to land late Wednesday in Hanoi. He will hold a brief one-on-one conversation with Kim that night followed by a “social dinner” that will include a small delegation from each side, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
Earlier Wednesday, Kim is expected to meet Vietnamese officials. He could also tour Vietnam’s major industrial city of Hai Phong and manufacturing center of Bac Ninh, Reuters reports.
U.S. officials hope Kim will be influenced by his experience in Vietnam, a single-party state that has experienced rapid economic growth after opening up its economy.
It’s not clear whether Kim can be convinced. For three generations, Kim’s family has stayed in power, in large part because it has not implemented drastic market reforms.
Still, Kim’s Vietnam tour will be closely watched, with analysts scrutinizing his reaction at every stop.
It is not clear whether Kim will replicate his experience in Singapore. Ahead of that summit, Kim went out for a night on the town, posing for selfies at tourist sites and waving to cheering onlookers in what was by far the most unfiltered look yet at the young leader.
The Vietnam visit is the latest in a flurry of diplomatic activity for Kim, who until last year had not left his country since taking power in 2011.
Besides his Singapore visit, Kim has traveled to China four times and met three times with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Source: Voice of America