Why is Donald Trump meeting Kim Jong Un in Vietnam?

U.S. President TRump makes a visit to the Ain al Asad base in Iraq the day after Christmas 2018

U.S. President TRump makes a visit to the Ain al Asad base in Iraq the day after Christmas 2018

"The Chinese state media needs every bit of help it can find in projecting Kim Jong Un as a person whose main interests are economic rather than military", Cathcart says. But there is not yet a concrete plan for how denuclearization could be implemented.

Trump told Congress in his State of the Union address that as part of a bold new diplomacy, the USA would continue its historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Even before Vietnam was picked as the location for the next Trump-Kim summit, Kim Jong Un had informed the Vietnamese government about his wish to pay an official visit to Hanoi, Carl Thayer, an emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales and an expert on Vietnam, told DW.

Some analysts have suggested the US could use the Vietnamese location to signal it is bringing North Korea into its sphere of influence amid Washington's ongoing trade war with China.

A New York Times commentary by Mike Ives said Vietnam's good relations with the U.S., North Korea and South Korea was a factor in its being chosen as the venue for the summit.

Kim has also criticised the USA for maintaining and implementing sanctions on Pyongyang, warning in his New Year's address that they could "block the path to denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula forever".

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That prompted Pelosi to send another letter to the president, this time more forceful in her language. The parents added that the bullying started when Donald Trump began running for office.

Vietnam would be the best host of the event, Kim Eui-kyeom said, citing its checkered history with the United States in which they used to "point a gun and knife at each other". North Korea has an embassy in Hanoi and reports suggest that Kim Jong Un is interested in following Vietnam's economic and political example. -North Korea summit in Singapore, June 12, 2018.

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. But in the interim, North Korea's nuclear and missile programs have continued unabated, and the Pentagon's Missile Defense Review said last month that Pyongyang still represents an "extraordinary threat" to America.

USA envoy Stephen Biegun is due to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok Chol on Pyongyang on Wednesday, as he attempts to push forward preparations for the summit and advance a plan to reinvigorate talks about denuclearization. It has complained that the United States has done little to reciprocate its freezing of nuclear and missile testing and dismantling of some nuclear facilities.

South Korea and Vietnam normalized relations in 1992, and they've built similarly strong ties anchored on a high volume of trade. Satellite video taken since the June summit has indicated North Korea is continuing to produce nuclear materials at its weapons factories.

North Korea has repeatedly urged a lifting of punishing USA -led sanctions, a formal end to the war, and security guarantees.

The focus of the two-day summit would be whether Washington was willing to ease some of the sanctions, said Cheong Seong-Chang, a senior fellow at South Korea's Sejong Institute.

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