Trump Announces End-February Summit with Kim Jong-un in Vietnam

  • By Lee Yong-soo, Cho Yi-jun

    February 07, 2019 09:43

    U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "will meet again on [Feb.] 27 and 28 in Vietnam."

    "Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong-un is a good one," Trump boasted in his State of the Union address. "If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea with potentially millions of people killed."

    In an interview with CBS on Sunday, Trump said Kim "has a chance to have North Korea be a tremendous economic behemoth. It has a chance to be one of the great economic countries in the world." He added, "Certainly I think we have a very good chance of making a deal."

    A diplomatic source said Trump did not reveal where in Vietnam the summit will take place because the U.S. prefers Da Nang while North Korea prefers Hanoi, where its embassy is.

    U.S. President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address, alongside Vice President Mike Pence (back left) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (back right), at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Tuesday. /AFP-Yonhap

    U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun boarded an American military transport plane at Osan Airbase on Wednesday morning and arrived in Pyongyang later the same day for talks with former North Korean ambassador to Spain, Kim Hyok-chol, who heads negotiations on the North Korean side.

    Biegun led a delegation of more than 20 U.S. officials, apparently because discussions over the agenda and protocol will be tricky.

    Some diplomats expressed concerns that the upcoming summit is headed in the same direction as the first one in Singapore last year, where the date was announced before the agenda had been discussed, resulting in a failure to achieve concrete results.

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