International desk, Feb 27: US President Donald Trump shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to kick off their second summit Wednesday in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.Trump predicted the talks over the totalitarian state’s nuclear programme would be “very successful.”
They were following up on a historic first meeting in Singapore in June with about 20 minutes of one-on-one talks scheduled before a wider dinner.
Talks were then scheduled to resume on Thursday.
Asked if he has “walked back” his stand on the pace of denuclearisation of North Korea, Trump briefly said, “No.”
In his opening statement, Trump said it was an “honour” to sit down agains with the North Korean leader.
“It is great to be with you. We had a very successful first summit.”
Kim for his part said that after more than eight months, “obstacles have been overcome” by the two countries paving the way for their second meeting.
Trump leaves Hanoi hotel for dinner with Kim
AP news agency reports that US President Donald Trump’s convoy was seen leaving the Marriott Hotel in Hanoi ahead of a dinner with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Vietnamese activists say police restrict movements during Trump-Kim summit
More than a dozen prominent Vietnamese political activists say police have stepped up surveillance and prevented them from leaving their homes in Hanoi as the Vietnamese capital hosts a summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Despite sweeping economic and social reforms in Vietnam, the ruling Communist Party retains tight controls on media and does not tolerate criticism.
Nguyen Chi Tuyen, an activist known as Anh Chi, said security officials had been stationed outside his house for two days.
“They follow me everywhere I go and warn me that I may be detained if I cross the river into the (city) centre,” he told Reuters on Wednesday.
‘More diplomacy, less military threats’
As Trump and Kim get closer to their first face to face meeting in Hanoi, analysts are praising the efforts both sides have made to sit around a table and discuss the possible options instead of threatening to go to war.
“The US-North Korea relations are much better than what they were in 2017. Every step that takes you away from war is one step closer to peace,” Daniel Davis, senior fellow at Defence Priorities, says at an event in Hanoi.
“You need to put lot of emphasis on diplomacy and a lot less on military threats. Kim, more than his two predecessors, is willing to discuss issues and willing to give something if he’s getting something in return.”
North Korean officials visit Vietnamese carmaker
A North Korean delegation, minus Kim Jong Un, visited Ha Long bay on Wednesday morning and is now heading towards Hai Phong – around 110 km from Hanoi – according to Vietnam’s local media outlet as well as South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
Hai Phong hosts a factory of Vietnam’s first indigenous car manufacter VinFast.
Al Jazeera’s Musun Kim, reporting from Hanoi, says “this shows that Kim’s trip to Vietnam is not just about the nuclear negotiations”.
It is also seen as an opportunity to see an example of how North Korea could develop its economy after international sanctions are lifted,” our correspondent says.
The other ‘Donald’ making waves in Hanoi
Hours before Trump meets Kim on Wednesday, Al Jazeera meets an impersonator of the US president in Hanoi who has garnered international media attention.
Source: News Agencies