By HUY TRAN
U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam, a country chosen as a neutral location for their second nuclear summit meeting, on Feb. 27-28.
“Kim and I will meet again on Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam,” he said, but did not say where in Vietnam.
Trump made the announcement in his annual State of the Union address to Congress, confirming rumors about Vietnam being chosen as the venue for their second meeting, saying it was part of “a bold new diplomacy” that has already yielded potential results.
Mr. Trump expects the meeting to improve a diplomatic effort that has seemingly stalled since their last meeting in Singapore.
“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. Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong-un is a good one.”
“I like him. I get along with him great. We have a fantastic chemistry,” Mr. Trump said. “We have had tremendous correspondence that some people have seen and can’t even believe it. They think it’s historic. And we’ll see what happens. Now that doesn’t mean we’re going to make a deal. But certainly I think we have a very good chance of making a deal.”
Vietnam, which has diplomatic ties with both Washington and Pyongyang, offers advantages for both leaders. Vietnam is an easy flight for Kim’s shorter-range aircraft, and for Trump, it offers a symbolic nod to a communist country that has improved relations with the United States since the end of the Vietnam War.
The U.S. President visited Vietnam for the first time in 2017 when he attended Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s annual meeting. I think the location of this upcoming meeting is chosen because of two reasons.
The first is that Vietnam is the setting of the United States’ last major war, a possible reminder of the devastating and long-lasting effects on the country. The second reason is to show how a Communist country can rise up from international isolation and establish a booming economy in a short time.