Trump says to meet North Korea's Kim in Vietnam in late February

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

"(Kim) would be interested in seeing the Vietnam story for himself, that can be a good source of inspiration and reflection for him to think about the way he should take North Korea forward", Le Hong Hiep, a Vietnam expert at Singapore's ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, told AFP.

A spokesperson for Vietnam's foreign ministry said in a tweet on Wednesday that the country welcomed the summit and "strongly supports" dialogue on peace, security and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Our hostages have come home, nuclear testing has stopped and there has not been a missile launch in more than 15 months. If...

Analysts say the trip, which is set to be Kim's first to Vietnam, could offer the North Korean leader a model of post-war economic transformation under a communist state with capitalist leanings. He added that his "relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one".

The precise location for the summit - to be held on February 27 and 28 - has not been announced, though both the capital Hanoi and beach resort town Danang have been rumored.

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.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY'-oh) told Fox Business Network the Trump administration is "very hopeful" that Kim will fulfill a commitment to denuclearize. "We expect Vietnam to be a perfectly suitable backdrop to a new history to be written between North Korea and the United States".

The United States and Vietnam normalized ties in 1995, decades after the end of the Vietnam War.

Trump voiced guarded hope that intensifying negotiations with Afghanistan's Taliban would bring for a "possible political solution" to end the longest-ever USA war.

These include, on Pyongyang's part, the closure under global observation of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, Tongchang-ri missile launch site and Yongbyon nuclear research facility, and the discontinuation of all nuclear activities. The U.S. and South Korea are attempting to push Kim to abandon his country's nuclear weapons program in exchange for lifting sanctions and normalizing relations with North Korea's repressive government. "It is worth noting that Trump's decision to talk directly to Kim Jong Un has marked a dramatic turn in North Korea's attitude".

"It is contingent on progress of talks between North Korea and the United States but the possibility is low", he said.

The developments come after US President Donald Trump visited a US military base in western Iraq in December a year ago.

As compensation, the US might take steps aimed at, "improving US-North Korea relations, building a peace regime and implementing trust-building measures", the report said.



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