Trump reveals date of North Korea summit in Vietnam

President Trump announced a second summit this month with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un the same day that news leaked of a confidential United Nations report detailing the regime hiding nukes and selling weapons.

In his latest State of the Union address, the U.S. president called his relationship with North Korea "a good one" and said his latest attempts to initiate talks were "part of a bold new diplomacy". "Still, the level of provocation from North Korea had been constantly elevating with nuclear tests and missile launches until previous year".

"Trump overstates the concerns of "a major war" had he not been elected", NPR correspondents Scott Horsley and Michele Kelemen wrote in NPR's fact check of the speech.

Pres. Trump says that he will meet again with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on February 27 and 28.

For Donald Trump too, Vietnam is a safe place to meet.

The last top North Korean leader to visit Vietnam was Kim Jong Un's grandfather Kim Il Sung in 1958, though several senior officials have visited since then.

Trump has touted his first summit with Kim, held last June in Singapore, as a major foreign policy achievement and claimed the country no longer poses a nuclear threat. But the two sides have failed to agree on what that means, and how or when it will be carried out. "It's yours if you'll seize the moment", Pompeo said in remarks aimed at Kim.

On Wednesday, Stephen Biegun, Washington's envoy for North Korea, was scheduled to hold talks in Pyongyang to map out what he called "a set of concrete deliverables" for the second meeting.

Trump himself has expressed mixed opinions on the outlook for future talks with North Korea.

In particular, he spelled out the Trump administration's vision of a fundamentally transformed relationship with North Korea, including significant economic engagement, if the country gives up its nuclear arsenal.

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".

During a surprise visit to Iraq late previous year, Trump made clear that he has "no plans at all" to remove USA troops from the Middle Eastern country, stressing his interest in wanting more soldiers deployed there from Syria.

"North Korea has said normalization must start before denuclearization, while the US maintains that the North must hand over its nuclear weapons before any normalization can begin", NPR reported in November. Nuclear testing has stopped.

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 5, 2019. Vietnam was South Korea's fourth-largest trading partner previous year, according to Vietnamese and South Korean media reports.

  • Rogelio Becker