Why Vietnam for the second Trump-Kim summit?

Barham Salih

Barham Salih

Moments after threatening a nuclear arms race with Russia, Trump explained how he believes his 2016 election saved the world. "Our hostages have come home, nuclear testing has stopped, and there has not been a missile launch in 15 months".

Trump then offered his theory that the election of Hillary Clinton would've resulted in war between the nuclear powers.

Vietnam will host the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later this month, Trump announced last night, throwing a spotlight on the Southeast Asian nation that has friendly relations with all of the main players.

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Japan said it hoped the agreement Trump and Kim reached last June, including the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, would be implemented "thoroughly and swiftly", while Australia said it was important to enforce worldwide sanctions against North Korea to show Pyongyang that "the world is equally committed" to its denuclearization.

The two met for the first time at a summit held in Singapore a year ago and parted with a commitment from Kim to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

After Trump's speech, South Korea's Presidential Office of Cheong Wa Dae welcomed the announcement of the dates, and said it hopes an improving US relationship with Vietnam will help create a new path for the USA and North Korea as well.

Trump took heat for his previous summit with Kim in Singapore, where their historic June meeting resulted in a general statement about denuclearization. "Vietnam strongly supports dialogues to maintain peace, security, stability on the Korean Peninsula", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said Wednesday.

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In it, he announced the date and country where he'll next be meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. just three weeks from now.

Kim accompanied North Korea's top nuclear negotiator Kim Yong-chol when he visited Washington on January 18 for talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Both are fewer than 2,000 miles from North Korea's capital of Pyongyang-an even shorter hop from North Korea than Singapore.

Last Thursday, Biegun set out for the first time in a speech at Stanford University how he hopes to move the process forward, taking what several experts described as a more flexible and realistic approach than the administration has adopted thus far. North Korea's leaders "ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to survival", he said, summarizing findings in his office's "Worldwide Threat Assessment".

"I don't think the Vietnam model is ideal for North Korea, but it shows what's possible". The U.S. and South Korea are attempting to push Kim to abandon his country's nuclear weapons program in exchange for lifting sanctions and normalizing relations with North Korea's repressive government.

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