White House Decides On Vietnam For Next Trump-Kim Summit

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Vietnam is said to be the next host of the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, Business Insider is reporting. This location was reportedly decided on during a meeting between Trump and Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol, one of Kim’s top aides and a former spy chief, on Friday, January 18. Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is said to be eager to host the second summit between the two leaders.

Aside from Hanoi, another possible location is the city of Danang. An official of the town shared that while they were not outright asked to host the summit, they were told to prepare for a potential “A1” visit — A1 meaning a high-profile leader. Ho Chi Minh City, in the south of the country, has also been considered a possible location. A Vietnamese government said that “no official decision” had been made, but did confirm that they were beginning “logistical preparations.” Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also said that no decision had been made, but that Vietnam would “do [their] best to facilitate the meeting” if selected.

Vietnam is allegedly trying to improve their relationship with the U.S. Friendly relations have been slow-going due to the Vietnam War, but progress has definitely been made in the past few years. The U.S. dropped an arms embargo on Vietnam in 2016, and a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier visited the country in 2017 — for the first time since the end of the Vietnam War. Various countries in Asia are said to be looking to team up with the U.S. to stand tall against the major influence of China.

Trump and Kim’s first summit was in June of 2018. It marked the first meeting between a U.S. president and a North Korean leader. The two countries haven’t been on the best terms, seeing as their 1950-1953 war never technically met an official end. Kim promised Trump that he would begin to work on “the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.” Trump then announced to the U.S. that North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat following the summit — but then it appeared that the two leaders had very different understandings of what “denuclearisation” meant. So far, it appears that Kim hasn’t gotten very far on his promise. Perhaps more will be made clear when Trump and Kim next meet sometime in late February for the second summit.

The White House also said on Friday that the sanctions on Pyongyang would remain.