The North Korean special representative for the US, Kim Hyok Chol arrived in Beijing at 10am Tuesday (Feb 19), apparently en route to Vietnam to meet his US counterpart, Stephen Biegun ahead of a second scheduled summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said. This is a follow up of the historic June meeting in Singapore.
Trump mentioned that a second meeting would take place this year during his ‘State of the Union address’.
The location being Hanoi, Vietnam was confirmed by Trump through his preferred method of announcements, Twitter.
It is ironic that Vietnam, one of the few remaining Communist states and the most defiant of US military intervention during the Cold War now hosts a venue to settle one of the first Cold War conflicts. Although Vietnam does not remain as Internationally isolated a society like North Korea.
Trump and Kim will meet on February 27th and 28th.
President Trump has stated that he is ‘in no rush’ and that his end goal is complete denuclearization.
Trump called Kim ‘Rocket man’ at the UN summit in 2017, but in a tweet this month, he has taken a different stance given recent developments, saying “North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket — an Economic one!
Ro Moo-sik, vice chairman of The Korean War Veterans Association told Al Jazeera ‘Of course I want the war to end and peace to be established. And in the Singapore summit last year, dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear weapons was proposed as precursor to that,”.
There could be discussion about dismantling North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear facility in exchange for setting up a US liaison office in Pyongyand and opening economic relations.
“North Korea relationship is best it has ever been with U.S.,” Trump tweeted in January. “No testing, getting remains, hostages returned. Decent chance of Denuclearization…”