Trump, Kim to meet in Hanoi for sec­ond sum­mit

US Pres­i­dent pre­dicts Kim will cre­ate an ‘eco­nomic pow­er­house’

Business Standard - - WORLD - JUSTIN SINK BLOOMBERG

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said he will hold his sec­ond sum­mit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the Viet­namese cap­i­tal of Hanoi later this month. His tweet an­nounc­ing the meet­ing was fol­lowed by an­other pre­dict­ing that North Korea would be­come “a great eco­nomic pow­er­house” thanks to Kim’s lead­er­ship.

“My rep­re­sen­ta­tives have just left North Korea af­ter a very pro­duc­tive meet­ing and an agreed upon time and date for the sec­ond Sum­mit with Kim Jong Un,” Trump wrote on Fri­day night. “It will take place in Hanoi, Viet­nam, on Fe­bru­ary 27 & 28. I look for­ward to see­ing Chair­man Kim & ad­vanc­ing the cause of peace!”

The up­com­ing meet­ing fol­lows an his­toric sum­mit in Sin­ga­pore last sum­mer. In his State of the Union ad­dress, Trump said that while “much work re­mains to be done,” he was hope­ful his “good” re­la­tion­ship with the North Korean leader would yield re­sults in on­go­ing nu­clear talks.

“We con­tinue our his­toric push for peace on the Korean Penin­sula,” Trump said.

In the sec­ond tweet, Trump pre­dicted a promis­ing fu­ture for Kim and his coun­try. “North Korea, un­der the lead­er­ship of Kim Jong Un, will be­come a great Eco­nomic Pow­er­house. He may sur­prise some but he won’t sur­prise me, be­cause I have got­ten to know him & fully un­der­stand how ca­pa­ble he is. North Korea will be­come a dif­fer­ent kind of Rocket - an Eco­nomic one!”

Be­fore their first meet­ing, Trump de­rided Kim as a “Lit­tle Rocket Man” with nu­clear am­bi­tions. The North Korean regime has long been re­garded as one of the world’s most re­pres­sive gov­ern­ments and re­spon­si­ble for wide­spread hu­man-rights vi­o­la­tions.

Al­though the North Korean econ­omy is be­lieved to have im­proved in re­cent years, it has been hurt by sanc­tions im­posed over its nu­clear weapons pro­gram and the coun­try re­mains one of the poor­est. The na­tion of 25 mil­lion peo­ple of­fers a la­bor force that re­mains largely un­tapped and holds min­er­als and rare earths that China has had a near mo­nop­oly on.

An ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial said that Kim pre­ferred Hanoi over Danang, an­other Viet­namese city that was con­sid­ered for the sum­mit. The of­fi­cial, who was granted anonymity to dis­cuss the prepa­ra­tions for the meet­ing, said Viet­namese of­fi­cials con­sid­ered their cap­i­tal a more pres­ti­gious set­ting, and that Trump did not par­tic­u­larly care ei­ther way.

Trump will face pres­sure to achieve more dur­ing the next meet­ing with the North Korean leader, af­ter the first sum­mit did not yield com­mit­ments from Kim to al­low weapons in­spec­tions or dis­man­tle its grow­ing ar­se­nal of war­heads and in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles.

In re­cent months, North Korea has said it would con­sider a step-by-step ap­proach, pair­ing ac­tions to de­nu­cle­arise with in­cen­tives, in­clud­ing the re­moval of eco­nomic sanc­tions crip­pling its econ­omy. In a New Year’s ad­dress, Kim threat­ened a “new path” if the U.S. didn’t ease “vi­cious” sanc­tions.

Viet­nam was con­sid­ered a favourable lo­ca­tion for the sum­mit be­cause Kim could travel to the coun­try with a flight largely over friendly Chi­nese ter­ri­tory. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Viet­nam’s For­eign Min­istry did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment af­ter Trump’s an­nounce­ment.

Trump will face pres­sure to achieve more dur­ing the next meet­ing, af­ter the first sum­mit did not yield com­mit­ments from Kim to al­low weapons in­spec­tions or dis­man­tle its grow­ing ar­se­nal of war­heads

The up­com­ing meet­ing fol­lows the his­toric sum­mit in Sin­ga­pore last sum­mer. In his State of the Union ad­dress, Trump said that while ‘much work re­mains to be done’, he was hope­ful his ‘good’ re­la­tion­ship with Kim would yield re­sults in on­go­ing nu­clear talks

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