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Trump says North Korea will thrive like Vietnam if it denuclearizes

Trump says North Korea will thrive like Vietnam if it denuclearizes

Dongguk University professor Koh Yu-hwan said the nuclear deadlock arose mainly from North Korea's misinterpretation of the Singapore agreement.

Trump and Kim are due to meet for dinner later in the evening, their first engagement together in Vietnam. "No two people alone have broad enough shoulders to take on the weight of such challenging issues spread out over 70 years".

At 6:30 p.m. local time, the two leaders will have a meet-and-greet at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel, according to the White House.

"All parties in the world, including China, hope the DPRK and the US will continue to make more substantial progress on denuclearization and peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, based on what they have achieved", spokesperson Lu Kang said at a daily press briefing.

Potential incentives include a political declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a fragile armistice with no peace treaty signed, leaving the Korean peninsula technically at war.

But the carnival-like atmosphere in the Vietnamese capital, with vendors hawking T-shirts emblazoned with the leaders' faces, stood in contrast to the serious items on their agendas: North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The North Korean leader has gone from questioning Trump's sanity and warning he would "tame the mentally deranged USA dotard with fire" to writing Trump gushing letters and pledging to denuclearize his nation and turn his energy toward developing his country's economy.

And while Trump left Singapore claiming that North Korea is "no longer a nuclear threat", analysts dismiss that as "patently false" and Pyongyang is believed to have spent the intervening time quietly expanding its capabilities.

Experts said the pair were at pains to show their relationship had improved since their first meeting, with their body language closely mirroring each other.

"Kim may be tempted to push Trump even harder for concessions, knowing how much the president wants and needs that testing pause", Revere said.

Trump scoffs at the doubters.

Daniel Russel, the top US diplomat for Asia until 2017, said: "A peace treaty that leaves in place the arsenal of North Korean chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons that directly threaten Americans and our allies is not much of a peace treaty".

Whatever the outcome, the summit should boost Kim's bid to end his country's pariah status and cement his place, both on the world stage and at home.

For Washington, this would ideally include getting Kim to dismantle the key nuclear facility at Yongbyon, allow in worldwide inspectors, or even hand over a full list of all the country's nuclear assets - something the North Koreans have categorically refused to do.

One desired outcome for the US president is a Nobel Peace Prize, for which he says Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has already nominated him.

Asked by a reporter if he was "walking back" on denuclearisation demands, Trump said "no".

The Hanoi meeting was Trump's second meeting with Kim in eight months and he appeared to reiterate recent statements that he was in no rush.

In Hanoi, the government has festooned the city with US, Vietnamese and North Korean flags and branded the summit as a "partnership for sustainable peace".

The two sides have discussed specific and verifiable denuclearisation measures, such as allowing inspectors to observe the dismantlement of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear reactor, US and South Korean officials say. This summit may test Mr Kim's willingness to break from the past. "A liberalized North Korea would provide the missing link in improving the trade connectivity of the Korean peninsula to Europe if inter-Korea rail connects to Russian Federation and China".

Vietnam normalised ties with old battlefield foe the United States in 1995 after decades of Cold War mistrust, and its "doi moi" reforms transformed it into one of Asia's fastest-growing economies.


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